One of my earliest inspirations is my Grandpa, Herzl Emanuel, who was an artist and sculptor. From the time I was small, I would visit him in his studio where he was working with clay. I watched in awe as he molded the red, wet material into animals and figures, using only his imagination and intuition. Watching him casually sculpt our beloved dog Barkie from an idea into a realistic form, I understood the magic of hand-made creation.
My grandpa encouraged me to draw, and seeing how happy my drawings made him inspired me to continue. Each time I saw him, I would bring him a new drawing. No matter what I brought him, he always believed in my work, and told me I had to keep drawing.
Grandpa Herzl's sculptures were bold, abstractly figurative, and expressive. He had a foundry in Rome where he invited his friends and peers to come and explore bronze work. He was driven by devotion and passion, and disregarded the need for fame and mainstream success. From him I learned to love art for the act of creation itself, not for what might follow it in terms of recognition or monetary gain.
When reflecting on his work, he shared:
"Losing my way, even failing abjectly in some attempted work are, it seems, indispensable ingredients of the whole process. These are often painful experiences in the extreme but, to be able to go on, we are forced to try alternative approaches that may lead to fresh, unpredictable discoveries. And it is these modest miracles, finally, that keep us going. Nothing is more deadly or depressing than the feeling that we are trapped in our own devices, patterns of work which have become routine and repetitive. The history of art reveals a similar impulse in its periodic upheavals- the irrepressible need to upset the applecart of an existing tradition gone sterile." -Herzl Emanuel