“Altair”
Silver Gelatin Photo
 
M.L. SNOWDEN SCULPTURE
BRILLIANCE TRILOGY
Altair - Snowden Brilliance Trilogy
 

M.L. Snowden ‘s Starscape Unit collection is a conceptual tour of luminous stars that invite us to explore depths of meaning and mystery that infuse our earth and universe. Like the stars themselves which often serve as markers for our own inspiration, each sculptural member of the Starscape is hand worked into a level of energy that communicates privately to each viewer. Within the inner sanctum of Snowden’s foundry, a positive force is born in each sculpture as it is welded, carved, smoothed and burnished over weeks and months as Snowden’s unique formula for bronze is transformed into a magnetic handmade talisman. Much like the Butterfly Effect of the Chaos Theory where the beating stroke of a butterfly’s wing has the eventual power to create a major wind current, the sculptor’s unrivaled physical handwork meeting the viewer’s optical, mental and tactile perception of the sculpture join forces to create an almost magical interaction.


The pairing of Altair and Antares creates a dual polarity that shines their spiritual light on one another in the manner of a reflection. Known as Altair since the medieval period, the star’s name comes from an abbreviation of the arabic phrase, ‘the eagle flying’ derived from earlier ancient Babylonian astronomers who observed the star’s marvelous energy and brightness. Scientifically, Altair is located five parsecs or about 16.8 light years from earth and is among the closest visible stars in the night sky. It is the 12th brightest visible star in the heavens with a visual magnitude of .77 and is the most luminous star in the constellation Aquila. Evoked by Snowden, the sculptural star Altair literally reaches upward to take our hand beyond the reaches of earth and its cares, inviting us to touch its lustrous portrait connecting us with the cosmos. In particular, the otherworldly portrait of the star has been sculpted by Snowden into new levels of metallurgical virtuosity. The hands alone exhibit dramatic energy patterning and seem as if they are shaped by uprising winds of the star’s radiant vectors. M.L. Snowden invented the protocols and specific foundry wax that makes the casting of Altair possible.


From important roots in the Paris studios of Rodin and Antonin Mercié, Snowden brings to the bronze the glowing luminous platinum Fournier Patina and the touch of the historic Rodin tools that were used to shape the dynamic planes of Altair.


Text: Di Sulio