June 2015, there are 2 more balls cast and 1 more wax in line, to complete the set. Why make balls? As one critic who was trying to be nice wrote, "Yet again, another ball..." and then went on to (kindly at least) attribute some symbolism to it that I certainly never intended.
And so I asked myself, yeah, why am I making balls? Not that I like to let critics dictate my directions, but I do admit they can get you thinking about your art. In this case I wasn't able to argue my favorite: "well it's something new..." And the challenge of casting such a form goes right over their heads. But it wasn't about doing the difficult...
The origin is very simple. Many moons ago I was in the MFA program at Claremont, back when Roland Reiss was Chair, and before the department got swallowed up by the State Consortium and went uni-mind. (These days you may as well save your dough because that school now uses the same teachers and curriculum as State Universities, and whatever liberal was there has become... well, a "patriot".)
That was back when post-modernism hadn't yet evolved into post-post... etc. But I'll skip that part, because art has regressed and given up on moving forward - I was just talking to a kid yesterday who frankly wanted to go back in time. Had taken offense to my mention of Leonardo as a war machine maker, and maybe not a humanitarian... OK, he could draw...
But so can everyone who gets into MFA programs.
My paintings were complex and Roland had been urging me to simplify what was 5 or 10 paintings in one to one painting in one. And what came out was a large painting of a cylinder in space I called "Space Junk". Roland said it was my best painting. I laughed because it was so simple - how could it be better than the stories I was telling in the other paintings?
Well, years went by, and I thought the thing would be good in 3-d. So I made a clay Space Junk. Then I began to wonder about other simple shapes, and the roundness came into my head as a challenge. Thus the Balls. The first Balls were clay, just after the clay Space Junk, and then out came a Herend porcelain one, which went straight into a museum. Then a large cement, and finally these metals - bronze, silver, aluminum.
I'll leave the rest to your imagination. Out of it comes a pretty nice set of balls. They're just more space junk, over time.