I take candid shots of people and animals that evoke an emotional response. I make my sculptures out of newspaper. It is not paper mach’, but rather paper sculpture put together in a dry process with layers and layers of newspaper taped onto a wood and wire armature. I take a lot of time to get the anatomy correct with all of the details.
I make everything out of newspaper right down to eyelids and shoelaces. I leave no detail undone because I want my sculptures to be believable and feel alive. This realism gives me the freedom to be very expressive with the collage. I use the colorful advertising from newspapers and magazines almost like a painter uses paints. When doing the collage my floor is covered with images that I chose and glue onto the surface in a very intuitive way. The result is like a three-dimensional abstract painting. I try to see how far I can push this and still have the sculptures feel alive. I have a true empathy and love for people and animals and try to have this show through in my work.
More info: willkurtz.com
Brighton Beach Bench
This is a sculpture I made of some seniors that were sitting on a bench on the boardwalk in Brighton Beach. These people touched me in that they probably sit in the same spot every day and tell the same stories over and over.
Nettie. She was walking across the street in Brooklyn and I had to take a photo of her
She was very short, maybe 4′-10″. she had on a coat that was too large for her and some amazing slippers. She knew everyone and was gesturing to someone on the corner. On her walker she had some take out food. I called her Nettie because she reminded me of my grandmother.
Cops. These were partners that were standing on a street corner in Brooklyn watching all of the craziness around them
The female cop was very serious and watching a homeless man across the street who was screaming something. The male cop acted like it was just the same guy he has been dealing with for years.
Sleeping Homeless Guy, He was sitting on a wall outside of a hospital at 2 in the morning
He was sleeping in this position. I went up close to him to get photos. His hat didn’t actually have the american flag on it, but when I found the image I knew it had to go there.
Lina the Dog Walker. I met Linda at Prospect Park in Brooklyn where I used to take my dog
She is a very gregarious dog walker who laughs a lot and talks to everyone. She walks up to 12 dogs at a time and somehow mangoes to keep track of all of them when she lets them off leash.
Old Couple. I saw them coming out of a hospital.
I think she came to take her husband out for some fresh air and to sit on a bench to watch people. He was very frail. She was all dressed up for her visit.
Rastifarian. He was handing out flyers for a nail care shop. He was very happy despite the menial job
I love his expression and his had holding in all of his dreadlocks. You can’t see it from this photo but he has on a backpack that I took hours to sculpt from looking at my own backpack.
This is Tamara. She is my old landlord’s daughter
She has 4 children and would come riding up to the house on her 750 Kawaski motorcycle. She was very loud and loved to tease me.
Melinda. She was walking across an intersection and the way she dressed in tight clothing to show off her body was very intriguing to me
Walter. This was a gallery managers French Bulldog. I loved the way he sat. It felt very human
Lefty and Cooper. These are 2 150 lb. Bull Mastiffs that I took a photo of that were in the back of a pickup truck. It was a very hot day
Henry. I wanted to sculpt Henry because he seemed so sad with his swayed back and exposed hip bones
Cuidido and Agnes. These dogs were checking each other out in the way dogs do it
I had a lot of fun bing expressive with the collage on the Great Dane. There was so much space because he was such a large dog. With Agnes i cut all of the hair with scissors and layered it up from the feet to her head.
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