30 Apr Artist creates classical bronze sculptures of Greek gods and goddesses in his Mott Haven, Bronx studio
Walking into Sabin Howard’s studio in Mott Haven is like stepping into a fine art gallery.
Clay and bronze statues of the Greek gods Hermes, Apollo and Aphrodite among others fill the 1,500-square foot studio.
“I am trying to return art to its sacred form,” he said, while working on pieces to be exhibited at the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art in Manhattan.
The gallery show, “Sabin Howard – The Classical Art of Sculpture,” opens Friday with a special reception and launch of his new book, The Art of Life.
“Post modern art is sacred to me,” said Howard, 48, of Manhattan. “I really got into it when I was in Italy. It affected me and I wanted to be surrounded by beauty. I didn’t want to make things that were just visually beautiful. I wanted to tell a story.”
Howard studied art at the Philadelphia College of Art and the New York Academy of Art. He taught for 20 years before turning to sculpture full time.
For Howard, the sculpture process starts with a live model. Then he builds an armature – steel bars welded together to resemble a stick figure – to fit within the figure. He then glues styrofoam onto the form.
Next, he adds clay. This is the most time consuming part. A life-sized piece of Aphrodite, for example, took 18 months to complete. And he’s been crafting a 28-inch statue of Apollo since last April, at times adding pieces of clay no bigger than a pinhead.
After the clay figure is finished, a mold is created. Eventually, bronze is cast. Once the bronze is cooled, he applies a patina. The finished effect is a mix of dark brown and rust-colored hues.
Howard’s works are in private collections and museums worldwide, and he’s been featured in more than 50 art shows.