We explain what sculpture is and what this artistic expression consists of. Characteristics, techniques, functions, and uses in society.
What is Sculpture?
Sculpture (from Latin sculpture to sculpt) is a form of artistic expression consisting of carving, molding, sculpting, or chiseling a material to create a shape with volume.
Sculpture is considered one of the Fine Arts, in addition to painting, music, and architecture. The name of the statue is also given to the work that arises from the artistic process.
The working materials of the sculpture can be of the most varied, from clay, stone, and wood, to marble, wax, plaster, and different types of metals (bronze, iron, copper, silver, and gold). As technology allowed the development of new materials, sculpture began to use resins and plastics that, having new properties of resistance and flexibility, allowed the development of new artistic styles in sculpture.
The sculpture has a significant component of imitation and the original creation since the representation can range from concrete figures such as people, animals, and ls, and natural and artificial objects, with absolute proportionality, or they can be abstract sculptures that defy the perception of the space.
The management of space is critical in sculpture, which implies that the final composition that the artist pursues must take into account spatial aspects such as height, width, depth, volume, shape, line arrangement, etc. texture, the consistency of the materials, the optics of the environment where the sculpture will be, and in some cases, the movement of the statue.
There are numerous techniques for working with sculpture, depending on the artist’s intentions and means. The methods rely primarily on the material being worked on.
In the case of wood and stone, the technique involves carving with instruments such as chisel and sandpaper, while in the case of softer materials such as clay and plasticine, manual modeling is used.
When the material is a metal, the technique involves casting and the use of molds. Drilling, painting, and conservation techniques are also used, as well as articulating different pieces to create movement in work.
The molds are commonly used for the reproduction of sculptures. They are made with plaster, resin, or rubber, accurately reproducing the finished work.
Function and uses of sculpture
Socially, sculpture can have very diverse uses and functions. Originally the statues had a religious position for magical rituals, funeral rites, cult practices, etc.
Later, it also acquired political functions to express the power of monarchies, preserve peoples’ memory, and defend political projects. Another use of sculpture, which over time became its most common function, is aesthetic, which seeks to represent the beauty or artistic ideals of an era or to create decorative objects for interiors or exteriors.