ARTIST FOCUS PAGES 138
Brian Keith’s goal as an artist is to respond to beauty by creating something beautiful. “At every step— studying the anatomy, sketching out compositions, working my hands through the clay, shaping the figure, refining the sculpture—I am acting out of admiration for what I freely receive in nature, giving a three-dimensional form to my response,” he says. “I find it an absolute joy to use my hands, making works of art that will engage people, to bring them an experience of beauty or move them to contemplate what is important.”
Keith is inspired by the attention to anatomy and the dramatic figural poses in the works of Bernini and Caravaggio, how Norman Rockwell imagined memorable characters and distilled meaning into a single moment, and the redemptive narratives he finds in the Bible. He explains, “I want to create art that is emotionally moving and technically precise, with a spirit that ranges from Italian baroque intensity to Rockwell’s playful storytelling.”
Keith’s textural, even painterly, style is “marked by surface variety and visible reminders of the hands that molded the piece. The tactile element of sculpting, in which I am taking up the long tradition of classical sculpture, and the diligence required to form each figure are important parts of why I love what I do,” the artist shares. “My work is a celebration of the life that God formed from the dust of the ground, and my hope is that each piece reflects the gratitude I feel in creating it.”
The Robe of the Prodigal, bronze, 21 x 8 x 11"
Karle Wilson Baker, bronze, 125% life-size
Princess Journey, bronze, 125% life-size