Mark Levin sculptor & art furniture maker
The creative process is maturer and more rewarding than when I was young. It's the most powerful current in my life and keeps the fire in the belly fully amped at 460 volts, three phase.
There was never the drive to be an artist. I simply liked making beautiful objects, and those objects painted me into the art world. Four decades later I'm still attempting to come to terms with that world and continue to work on my tap dancing.
Mark smoking his last cigar, thus
Each work starts on the periphery of the imagination. It becomes embedded and refined with miles of walking which is an important part of my life and my creative process plus it keeps the ball of string taut.
I mentally design and build the work as I walk, let it simmer, hash it out with more miles and then broker it to pencil
Apple Side Table with Drawer
I build the work using various stack lamination techniques where one layer of wood is glued on top of another creating a large "blank" from which the work is sculpted.
The work is roughed out with chainsaws, automobile disc grinders and then refined with sanders, rasps, files and hand scrapers.
Stack Lamination in process
The grain and beauty of the wood have little influence on the design of my work. I create with wood for its intrinsic value, virility, and quickness of execution. I visualize new work in matte black, for if it has presence adorned only in black, then the beauty of the wood becomes that dark moist chocolate frosting.
I start a new work with the intention that the piece will be unique. But often after completing a piece, the work develops an aesthetic volition and extrapolates into other variations centered around the same theme. This expansion is how the Leaf Series, Fruit Series, and others evolved.
Jane Russell Leaf Table
Some series have a lifespan of a few years while others continue to evolve over the decades. Most all series share the commonality of the righteous curve intersecting with the perfect fluid movement, and that foreplay creates the various sensual personalities.
The curves of the Fruit and Ripple Series are the lust of a one-night stand; the Leaf Series are the curves of the soft caress; the Profile Series are the curves and movement of a flawless pirouette and the Flower Series are the curves of love and death.
Caitlin's Nymph Bench v4.0
Nature is the obvious inspiration for my work, but again it revolves around curves, movement and sensuality; the work of Richard Serra, Constantin Brâncuși, stiletto heels, the female form, Le Corbusier's Ronchamp chapel, the bridges of Santiago Calatrava, José de Rivera, the rustling of leaves, dead quiet, and the arc between life's first and last kiss.
The arc between the first and last kiss.
The future will bring more time creating sculpture built around the themes of fruit, flowers, leaves, and women.
I look at my sketchbooks and models and recognize it may not all come to fruition as I enter the winter of my life. My goals are now to keep that ball of string from unraveling, build some damn fine work and enjoy the last spin around the dance floor.