My artwork is diverse in materials, style, technique, and content. It is difficult to explain the diversity, except to say that I love to experiment and I am drawn to new challenges. I work with wood, metals, cement, plastic, and found objects. Some of the threads that tie my work together are humor, a fascination with curves, motion (or implied motion), and an interest in the human condition. My sculptures can roughly be divided into two parts--decorative works and social commentary.
Decorative Works and Public Art
My decorative works include freestanding sculptures (indoor and outdoor), wall pieces, and mobiles. They range in size from tabletop pieces to a 200' long outdoor sculpture (Ghost Train). These works tend to be curvy, abstract, distorted geometric forms. Most embody a strong sense of motion. I am intrigued by motion or, more accurately, the paths taken by objects in motion. I love to let my eyes trace the path of a bird swooping through the air or a fish gliding through water. Many of my sculptures are like 3-D snapshots of such motions.
While most of my decorative pieces contain aspects of implied motion, the mobiles are literally in motion. The delicate balance and suble, graceful, gliding motions of mobiles have intrigued me since I was a child. As a sculptor I appreciate the ever-changing shapes and intersections of lines. My largest mobile is a 55' long installation created for a hospital lobby (Eclipse).
My works of social commentary include the American Artifacts series, figurative pieces, and other works. These pieces often include an element of humor. The materials are often related to the meaning of the pieces. Some pieces are based on my personal experiences and struggles; others are derived from my observations and understandings of the world around me.
The series American Artifacts is a group of mixed-media sculptures accompanied by text. The work is created and presented in a form that simulates an exhibit in a natural history museum. At first glance, the sculptures appear to be artifacts from some foreign or primitive culture, but on closer inspection one finds that the "artifacts" are derived from objects common to modern life in the United States. The accompanying text describes the objects in a style reminiscent of the descriptions one might find in a natural history museum beside stone axes and broken ceramic figurines, yet it refers to our own culture.
A significant amount of my artwork has included the human figure in one form or another. My work has included life-size figures, portions of figures, and installations using mannequins. I find something particularly compelling in life-size human figures. They tend to create a strong presence in a room regardless of the style or material. We are "programmed" (psychologically if not biologically) to relate to the human form in certain ways. When a viewer encounters a figurative sculpture he brings a certain familiarity that, at least for a moment, allows him to feel a likeness to the sculpture. The viewer also feels his difference of course, and from this contradiction he must draw some meaning.
In all of my work, whether decorative or provocative, I aim to offer viewers a new viewpoint. The entire range of my sculptures (more than 100 images) can be seen on my website: <HarryMcDaniel.com>.
Public Art Projects
2008 Deco Gecko; Pritchard Park; Asheville, NC
2007 Redbird; Fred Fletcher Park; Raleigh, NC
2004 Dancers; Florida State University;Tallahassee, FL
2004 Spires (purchase); Florida Atlantic University; Boca Raton, FL
2003 Fiddleheads; UNCA-Kellogg Center; Hendersonville, NC
2003 Ghost Train; New River Trail State Park; Pulaski, VA
2001 Avian Muse; 30' long mobile; Robert Morgade Library; Stuart, FL
2000 Neptunian Frolic (purchase); Brevard County Health Dept.; Titusville, FL
1999 Eclipse; Outpatient lobby, Moore Regional Hospital; Pinehurst, NC
1988 Agrisculpture; suspended sculpture; Agricultural History Park; Derwood, MD
For exhibition history and additional biographical information, please refer to: <HarryMcDaniel.com>.