Artist Statement

Sculptor Rick Brunner with “Crescendo.”

As a young boy growing up around the swampy woods outside of New Orleans, the investigation of the natural world was occupying. The variety of forms in nature especially intrigued me, becoming a valuable resource for stimulation. I was allowed the luxury of Fantasy.

Approaching the design process, I like to review my work both in the formal as well as conceptual sense. The intention is that they inform one another, with the goal being provocation of a response from both soul as well as intellect.

From a formal perspective, I don’t invent shapes as much as discover them. When these forms engage me, I appropriate and integrate them with my choice of materials, mostly woods, combining other materials whose intrinsic value fit my purpose. Often these shapes seem primitive yet comfortable, as though they come from dreams or a prior existence. Plant forms, insect shapes, and their skeletal remains intrigue me. I believe nature to be the boldest of designers.

Conceptually I am a diarist. Symbolisms and metaphors reveal my story, all of it, including the strengths and weaknesses.

I respond to life’s events that are current to me, each year changing. It is perhaps just simply the ebb and flow of existence and all that it brings to me. While at times I feel the subject matter is simply personal, I have come to realize through response to my work that these are really universal ideas.

Executing a sculpture is both exciting and frightening. As windows of opportunity open, the view is not always under my control. During the creative process, I engage both my own personal language as well as a universal dialogue that seems to guide my unconscious decisions. Integrating both form and concept, I attempt to strike a balance between the obvious and the enigmatic as exemplified in primitive or tribal works. I am inspired by the craftsmanship as represented in the way a Japanese Samauri suit of armor is assembled, the expressiveness in modern dance and the emotive possibilities in music.

As an artist, my work continues to be an exploration of fantasy, inspired by the rich cultural influences of my youth, integrating the cycles of life that have become me.