Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hey Jebus!

I just wrapped up charging the Spring Opera at Juilliard. It was called "Dialogue of the Carmelites". The designer had these awesome ideas from the beginning of his design, and one of them was this 8' tall sculpture of Jesus. As soon as I found this out, I called dibbs on it and wanted to get my hands on this project because I knew it would be an awesome thing to work on. I've done a little bit of foam carving sculpture work before, but nothing of this size, so I welcomed the challenge.

The image that the designer gave me was El Grecco's "Christ on the Cross with Two Donors"

The designer referred to this Jesus (who I call Jebus for the duration of me working on this) multiple times as hott, and saucy.
I just love his obnoxiously elongated torso, personally.

We glued together sheets of 1" blue insulation foam, and transferred the pounce to the foam. One of the carpenters made this A-W-E-S-O-M-E hot knife made with a piano wire and a car battery and that thing carved through the foam like butter.
It was amazing!

Behold, said awesome jolly-rigged hot knife =] <3

Someone snapped a picture with my camera of me carving away on Jebus. I'm pretty glad they did it actually.

Footless, Handless, Faceless Jebus is my favorite kind. I think he kinda looks like a larger-then-life size of Rocky with a Scuba Helmet on.

Of all the things I carved with this guy, the bellybutton was my favorite part. When I was carving him the foam layers started looking really cool, kinda like rings on a tree. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

First time subtractive sculpture on a face was something I was not ready to battle with my time frame, so I opted for some additive sculpture with some paper clay. It was coming along well, but I needed a place to put my tools while I was sitting on top of Jebus's chest, so I figured since I was already boarder line getting struck by lightening, I figured I'd put my tools in his head.
.....hey! why not?!
This is what he looked like on stage. He was pretty snazzy, and looked well on the cross that we also did for this show. Oh yeah, and I had to crucify him myself with a large drill bit and some liquid nails. It was A-W-E-S-O-M-E. And by awesome, I mean I am completely and entirely surprised that I did not get struck by lightening at all during this process.

And here is a full stage shot to show some scale.

50 hours of work, and it was onstage for about 15 minutes for each of the 3 performances.

Love, love, love theatre!