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Saturday 12 February 2011
Sculptors - alive or dead.
A couple of days ago a custome was on the blower to me telling me how wonderful and indeed God like the Perrys are. Now ignoring the crassness of this I forebore to differ at that time but it did cause me to think. The cult of the sculptor has become ingrained in our hobby now - copying largly from the fantasy genre- that the amont of of bacl- stroking and downright brown-nosing in some quarters is positivly nauseating.
Not -at least in some cases the sculptors fault this but a very small part of the "celebrity cult" that we now have to endure.
Nevertheless I look at lots of toys from all sorts of sculptors and sorry dudes the Ps are not Gods they are not as was opined to me "the best sculptors ever"(compared to who? Michelangelo? Henry Moore ? John Singer Sargeant? or just other blokes who make toy soldiers )
This does not make them bad sculptors far from it but there are chaps both living and dead who are technically as good or better and artisically as good or better but have not become a pair of cults ....
Dead Dudes first- Chas Stadden and Les Higgins both were as crisp as modern sculptors and did movement considerably better than most .Technically their job was harder as most masters were either "lost Wax" or even plastecine yet both manged miniatures which still stand up very well today. The same went for Ted Suren at his best though some of his models were more quirky and less consistent than either Les or Chas. Suren's mantle has been ably inheireted by David Wilson of Jacdaw.
Steve Hezzelwood and Peter Gilder- very different in style - and thats a point too - were both capable figure makers.
Of other sculptors working today Chris Hughes. Bob Naismith , Nickolay Bokarev(Drabant) are all as capable as any )and Tom Meir's work rightly stands out as some of the finest around- (though his "historical" output is small). There are plenty of others too who's names escape me as I write this - the lad who does Minden for a start- though they are a bit thin for my taste - are fine models.
My point that there are plenty of fish in the sea and thank God they don't all look the same. So many of todays sculptors are so "Perry - a - likes" that we are in danger of having all the same tedious stuff no matter who made it.
As an illutration the photo show George Washington being offered a drink on campaign but apparently preferring what the lady on the veranda has to offer....
Perhaps being away from home he hasn't seen "Marthas Vinyard" for a while... scurrilous fellow that I am....
The ladies are Les Higgins and Washington is a Stadden and I like the differing styles of many older figures.These differences are becoming harder to find amongst todays sculptors. This IMHO is compounded by the "accepted painting style" as pushed in some- but not all- of the glossies. Its getting to the stage where its difficult to tell the differences....