2005-01-14 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Rockaway Artists Alliance
By Susan Hartenstein


At  left, “Arf,” by Jody Silver, a wood and oil encaustic medium. At right, “Artist and Model,” by Jody Silver, oil on wood. In the background is Silver’s “Cowgirl,” a work in progress. Photo courtesy of Christina Jorge.At left, “Arf,” by Jody Silver, a wood and oil encaustic medium. At right, “Artist and Model,” by Jody Silver, oil on wood. In the background is Silver’s “Cowgirl,” a work in progress. Photo courtesy of Christina Jorge. A child’s fiberglass miniature car transformed into a giant snail. The graceful neck of a violin given new life as the feisty tail of a fox. The base of a lamp becomes the sinewy body of a COOOOL lady and the sole of a shoe reappears as the chest of a feisty dog. Jody Silver is an artist who re-imagines, re-assembles, re-paints and re-shapes found objects into wondrous animals and human figures – characters filled with wit, whimsy and panache.

Silver’s skills are so ingenious that the nature of the parts is not instantly evident when one looks at these sculptures because the assemblage works so well as a whole. On closer examination, if one is aware of the artist’s modus operandi, one discerns that these individual pieces had a former life.

After receiving her Master of Fine Arts degree from Hunter College, Silver studied animation in England. Her many years as a film animator and children’s book author/illustrator are clearly evidenced in her sculpture. Her figures are like characters placed in a story. She states, “A few years ago, I bought a batch of old wooden industrial molds. Along with a few boxes I’d been collecting, I began assembling them into figures and animals. The romance quickly grew. I scoured local tag sales and thrift shops for objects that would give my sculpture character, history and life.”

She eventually learned how to carve into the wood she found, the nuances of expression she had created in her animation and illustration.

Jody Silver wakes up every morning looking forward to going to work.

Her studio is in Portchester, New York, not far from her Connecticut home and just a 45 minute ride from Rockaway.

Portchester is an interesting town to visit, going through gentrification, with a range of shops and ethnic restaurants. Jody’s next exhibit is in October at the Silvermine Guild Arts Center in New Canaan, Connecticut.

To view more of her work visit: www.silvermineart.org. Click “Gallery and Guild,” click “Guild Artists,” click “Jody Silver.”

Her e-mail address is: jodysch@ optonline.net.

Jody Silver teaches that the stuff of art can come from many sources. She gives new life and purpose to throwaways, proving that a cigar is not limited to being just a cigar.

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