photo courtesy of Jeff Cancelosi
The intensity of the sculptor is propelled in the work of Austen Brantley. Many sleepless nights are seen and roaring sounds and thunderous motions are heard from within his studio in Detroit. Brantley involves his whole physicality in his work and his whole self. The good and bad parts the light and dark, inspired from the place he grew up in. He often refers to his practice as a necessary chaos to produce poetic forms while he works on 20 pieces simultaneously to produce series with the a similar breadth. He compares his creative process to making love. An intimate but tumultuous affair. It takes time and it doesn’t at the same time. The precision in his sculptures to him must be matched with the duality, rawness, crudeness, and imperfections of the human soul. Emotional scars are seen profusely in details to involve his pieces in his psychological drama. His search for meaning and Fulfillment drives his intense love affair with ceramics, stone and of course, Bronze. Brantley provides us with a quiet but graceful and powerful voice that confronts us with the retaliatory statements of his suffering. Often his mission is to create details in his work that require a second glance. Statements that omit a hauntingly beautiful narrative Austen gives us a piece of him in the hopes we receive the piece of us that may be missing.