Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Small Army of Buddhas

"The Badman is the first reductive sculpture I’ve ever made that wasn’t ice. I learned to carve ice mostly from Takeo Okamoto, a man whose generosity in teaching is matched only by his skill. But I also learned from a small army of Buddhas. One of our first clients at Okamoto Studio was a restaurant for whom we carved a life-sized seated Buddha six days a week. My first real contribution as a carver at Okamoto Studio was to make those figures. I was still a grad student at the time, so I would come in two days a week and cut three Buddhas a day. In all I carved well over 300, more likely 400. I liked to joke with the Okamotos that there actually was no restaurant, that they just loaded those Buddhas up in the van, drove to some vacant lot in Queens, and kicked them out the back – sort of a ‘Karate Kid’ type thing, and once I reached 1000 they’d finally let me carve something else, like a majestic winged unicorn or a gorilla wearing boxing gloves.

So if not for Takeo and the Buddhas, this painter would never have ventured into the 3D world of The Badman. Nor would we be carving ice mugs on Friday, a favorite at our summer BBQs at the ice studio. Hard to say if the best part is drinking the ice-cold suds or smashing the mug on the sidewalk once it springs a leak. You decide."
—Jeremy Mangan.

Copyright Okamoto Studio, 2009.

Jeremy Mangan, The Badman (detail), 2009. Photo courtesy The Telephone Room.

Join us for an evening featuring Jeremy Mangan's art + ice carving + beer on July 24, 2009. Please RSVP at thetelephoneroom@gmail.com.

The Badman by Jeremy Mangan is on view from June 17 - July 31, 2009 in the Telephone Room Gallery. Viewable by appointment—please email us. Don't be shy.

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