I didn’t know it when hearing the presentation about Ms. Coyne in class, but if I had to pick one sculptor I would love to work for her. Something about her style is different and dramatic to me and rather than leaving me bored, leaves me curious. I feel like this is a person I could learn from, especially being a woman sculptor. I wasn’t quite sure what her message was, especially in regards to all the wax she uses, so I looked into it.
“So that’s what I’m trying to do with the white wax pieces I’m doing now – they’re about those times that are almost perfect but not quite. You go searching to meet them again, and you’re all excited, and it’s never quite the same – but you always have the memory. So it’s not just about people passing, it’s more about friendships that have gone awry or people who have strayed. Just basically, humanity. That’s what all these pieces are about.”
– Petah Coyne March 24, 1994. In her studio, Greenpoint, Brooklyn
I do know the use of wax as a material for her is vital, it gives the right shape and feel for this “memory” of which she spoke in 1994. Wax is pliable and delicate at the same time and I think it is one of the few materials that could give this form to her pieces in order to give the feel she desires the viewer to have. As said in the presentation, the wax she uses was specially designed for her so that it could freeze and won’t melt except for at very high temperatures. When I think of Petah as an artist I think wax (not that that is the only material she uses, just the most prominent).
When interviewing Petah, Lynne Tillman said, “seeing your work, I feel I’m in a place to wander, a fantasyland of invented narratives.”http://bombmagazine.org/article/2485/petah-coyne
This quote perfectly describes how I feel. If I find myself in a fantasyland when viewing a piece, it has done its job for me. The most important thing to me is changing my perception and her work does it. Yes I like her work, I love it. She is the kind of artist that I would like to be.