CAST Contributors Colin and Kristine Poole Featured in The Wall Street Journal
Colin and Kristine Poole are partners in both art and life.
This husband and wife team lives in Santa Fe, NM where they work collaboratively as well as individually. They were featured in The Wall Street Journal on May 4, 2017, in an article titled "The Iconoclastic Homes of Top Artists." This article explores how artists merge their studios and living spaces and judging by the photos, the Pooles are living any artist's dream. Check out the article to see photos of their beautiful sculpture and painting studio, the gallery space within their home, and works in progress.
In CAST: Art and Objects Created Using Humanity's Most Transformational Process, we featured a series of bronzes Colin and Kristine created collaboratively. "The Spectrum Muse" is a series of seventeen bronze awards. There are variations within the series, indicating the different categories of the awards. The Pooles used patina and specialized details to differentiate the Silver, Gold, and Grand Master Awards.
This is an excerpt from Kristine's website about the series:
"The Silver Awards are bronze with a silver nitrate patina. This creates the luster of silver while still being decidedly a bronze. The flame of creation is cast in sterling silver.
The Gold Awards are bronze with a golden patina. The flame of creation is sterling silver gilded in 24K gold.
Around the base of the sculpture, inscribed text alludes to ancient cuneiform writing pressed into clay tablets and features the artists' invocation to the Muse: 'Sing within me Muse, Dwell in my imagination, Inspire me to bring forth my creations.'
The Grand Master Award has to be distinctive, so the sculpture has additional embellishments that are iconic to the body of the work of this year’s recipient–a nod to their unique brilliance.
All of the bronzes have a polished black marble base.
"Creating 17 bronzes on this scale for much less than the typical foundry bid provided us with a bit of a challenge from the beginning. The uniqueness of these awards with the combination of materials would have been cost prohibitive to hire out, but we felt it was important to have these awards be different from all others. We began problem-solving with our typical 'jump and then figure out how to sprout wings' approach.
There is a highly detailed blog post about the creation of The Spectrum Muse awards in the "Flesk and Spectrum Fantastic Art Blog" written by John Fleskes complete with a great process video there showing how the awards were made, start to finish. If you're into technique, this is definitely something worth checking out. The documentation and attention to detail is terrific.
"We have both worked in bronze foundries and have cast our own work start to finish–including molding, wax pouring and chasing, investing with ceramic shell, pouring the actual bronze, de-vesting and chasing the bronze and patination. Kristine's experience with silver casting also came into play as the Muse progressed. This background in bronze and silver casting processes proved critical as we were able to take on parts of the production that were too expensive to hire others to do, parceling out the mold making and the welding/patinas to the best in their fields in Santa Fe."
Kristine's educational background is in ceramics. She apprenticed with both master potter John Glick and master glass blower Steven Hourigan. She later moved to Santa Fe, NM to work for the Shidoni bronze casting foundry. She has incorporated all of these experiences into her practice and is one of those rare people who can work as adeptly in clay as she can in bronze.
At first glance, many of her figures look like traditional realistic nudes, but on closer inspection, many of the surfaces are highly ornamented and reveal conceptual underpinnings and a distinctive point of view. From Betty Boop tattoos to a whole body covered in hand written text, there is an emotional quality and modernity to her pieces that elevates them well beyond the traditional nude in the fantasy genre.
Colin's work, like Kristine's, is rooted in realism with a mythic quality. He paints in addition to his sculpting. His paintings range from hyper-realistic nudes to juicy memento mori still lives. His plein air paintings have a very different feeling - understandable due to the process of painting on site rather than in the studio - they are raw and immediate with a directness and loose quality that's exciting. His sculpture ranges from traditional bronze wildlife sculptures to therianthropic figurative works.
Colin and Kristine live and work together in a single space seven days a week. As the Wall Street Journal article said, they don't want a line between life and art and it seems they've built a life without one.
We looked at (at least) 20,000+ images in the process of writing CAST and the Pooles' work stood out as a unique voice in that crowd. Their fastidious approach to realism, fantasy, and the figure just wan't something we came across very often - and definitely nothing approaching the quality of the Pooles' work. We are so thrilled that they contributed images of their work and their process to CAST and we look forward to see what they create next.