Jackson Action

Ragtag downtown neighborhood gets a touch of the iron

For instance, 16 of the pieces are identically shaped and sized. Another 15 vary. Some are slightly larger, some smaller, and these contain hard edges and unusual curves that create a bit of dissonance among the soft-edged unity of the overall form.

It's a little unclear whether, in the end, that dissonance will seem to be too much of a contrivance.

What is evident, though, is that the process Eastman has been using to arrive at the result has been the usual empirical one of two steps forward, and one and a half back -- trying this, trying that and comparing it to the emerging work with the maquette he built to get his thoughts about the work going.

Rico Eastman finishing off his recent sculpture.
Paolo Vescia
Rico Eastman finishing off his recent sculpture.

Until fairly recently, he didn't create any models of his works. He would simply get out the blowtorch, welder and grinder, and plunge into the world of noise and sparks. But the growing scale of his sculptures has made maquettes necessary.

"The maquette's really just a focal point -- a starting point -- for the imagination," he says.

To get the proper view of the current one, he brings the maquette up to eye level, like Gulliver peering at a monument filched from Lilliput, and rotates the model as though he were walking around it.

"It's a lot like using a doll house to create or re-create events. The problem we're facing now, I guess maybe it's more of a question, is whether to stay true to the model or to change some things."

For the next few weeks, the answer will be in the lot at the corner of Ninth Avenue and Jackson Street.

For information about Riva Yares' sculpture garden, contact the Riva Yares Gallery, 3625 Bishop Lane, Scottsdale, 480-947-3251.

Contact Edward Lebow at his online address: edward.lebow@newtimes.com

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