Sometimes my work leans oddly. The sculptures are stable on the pedestal, but feature a relationship to gravity that we notice. The stance is unsettling. Such is the case with the piece above.
A piece might lean due to the way the first two connecting surfaces are glued and screwed together. To get a good fit the two pieces might have to connect in a strange way, and this joint dictates the rest of the joints.
It is then that gravity comes into play. The piece must stand; one cannot deny gravity so it is my partner in the rest of the composition. When we look at this work, we sense whether gravity is confirmed or denied.
Physically, if the piece stands, then it is true to gravity.
Another feature contributing also to the unsettling stance is value.
Above is the front of “Curtsy”, photographed dead on so the textural element seen in the first image is missing. Reading a book in about 1981 when I was a young instructor at Columbia College, I had no idea that the discussions from that book would play such a part in my work. I did not record the name of the book, or the author. All I remember is that he taught at Yale. His theories have ruled my work all these years, whether 2-D or 3-D.
As anyone who has ever taken an art appreciation class knows that colors and values have visual weight. Dark things seem heavier than light things. That is the expectation due to the rules of our physical world. Therefore, if you are looking for a stable and understandable composition, place the dark areas near the bottom.
If you want drama or tension, deny this notion as to how we view the world, and place them at the top.