Contrasting Elements Come Together in Harmony: New Work by Joe Segal
Have you had a chance to stop by the gallery to see new work by St. Augustine artist Joe Segal? These elegant sculptural forms from his Center series are striking in their marriage of warm earthiness and cool modernity.
Segal enjoys working with lumber, both new and salvaged, because of our natural connection to and reliance on this material. Every piece of wood has its own history, which the artist symbolically incorporates into his sculptures. These circular pieces in particular emphasize not only the linear passage of time, but also the cyclical progression of natural forces, such as the rising and setting of the sun and the changing of the seasons.
Segal prefers simple compositions that allow the wood’s natural beauty and unique characteristics to be highlighted and appreciated. For Center VIII, IX, and X, he has made his characteristic cuts into the wood grain, creating a seemingly random, yet repetitive pattern on their surfaces. Additionally, he has incorporated pieces of aluminum which “are symbolic of the intrusive methods that transformed a tree into a building material and then into a sculpture.” He finishes these pieces with a cast iron powder, which gives the sculptures a subtle rusty color and coarse, almost sandy, texture.
“It is [Segal's] hope to create sculptures that combine contrasting elements in peaceful, meditative compositions that examine our relationship with the natural world and contemplate the most perplexing of human concerns: the passage of time.”