Simplicity is often at the heart of genius. You probably know this instinctively from your own line of work or study. How many times have you taken palm to forehead and said, “I can’t believe we didn’t think of that ourselves!”
There’s something precious about the simplest extraordinary ideas, especially in a world that seems to be getting more complex with every passing week. And when those solutions are packaged with a sense of humor… well it just doesn’t bet any better.
So when I stumbled across the artist/photographer we will share with you today, I realized we were looking at something special. Take a look at a few of his creative adventures:
Great fun so far, huh?
On a side note before we continue with Brock Davis’s work:
Here’s something I can share with you that might give you a little, personal window into having more fun with sculpture art: Some of you know that I’m an artist myself – I use unusual materials to weld giant metal sculptures from scrap and found objects – and what I’ve noticed is that the best artists seem to be getting the essential element right in their pieces. For instance, if I make a life-sized T. Rex out of car parts, among a few other things, I’ve got to get the shape and scale of those tiny arms (unique to T.Rex) exactly right, or the thing just looks like a big generic monster.
Brock is not just getting things right because these are “cute” and clever pieces. He is doing something that every representational artist in the world strives for: he’s getting the essential element right for each piece. He’s found that perfect angle of a body part, or essential detail that instantly tells us that piece of popcorn (in the photo above) is a cloud. If he had left out that tiny lean in that banana stump, he would have missed an opportunity to connect with what we innately know about stumps: they are rarely symmetrical. Pick the wrong shaped cone for that ice cream shoe heal (in the first photo we featured) and we will miss the point entirely.
The next photo contains a great example of this important concept. Take a look and see if you can pick out a few tiny details that tell you this is a killer whale, and not a shark, dolphin or pilot whale.
Here’s a fabulous photo of a real killer whale. How did you do guessing what Brock had so perfectly depicted with a sliced cucumber:
Now here are a few more great tiny sculptures of Brocks, and again, I haven’t included the titles with these photos because he so clearly gets that quintessential element just right.
See what I mean?
So next time you are faced with a big piece of cut granite in a park, and the work is called “Woman and Child”, see if you can find the elements in that sculpture that touch that cord in you. It’s fun! You don’t have to have any training what-so-ever to appreciate what it takes to hammer away at a piece of stone until something so tender is revealed.
The same is true of Brock Davis’s simple, small wonders. He gets the steely eyes behind the torn knee in his jeans just so perfect that you know exactly what’s going on!
Here’s something taken from Davis’s website that gives us a window into the way creativity works:
“Recently, I was interviewed by tpt.org in regards to my Make Something Cool Every Day project. I was asked to try and make something creative on the spot, in the room where I was being interviewed. After evaluating the room, I was struck with an idea. I got out my marker and voila, Snoutlet.” 1
Lastly, we share some of his pieces with social commentary:
Well, that’s all I have time for today. I’m at an “Ideas Conference” called PopTech, and there are so many people here who we will feature in the coming months!
Thanks to Brock Davis for taking us on a little journey we could not have gone on without him. And think of that cucumber/killer whale the next time you are stuck in front of a piece of modern art that has a deep and meaningful title. In our family, we like to play with the moment and have a little fun sorting out what the artist was up to. Most of the time it’s just mind-bending fun, but sometimes it actually turns out deep and meaningful for us!
Check out Brock’s latest works of art by clicking here to see the scale of his creativity. There’s lots more there.
For that matter, there’s a lot more here too! At Ever Widening Circles, we try to feature “thought leaders” in every field here every day. We are aiming to be the polar opposite of the negative 24-hour news cycle.
Meanwhile, stay open, curious and hopeful. (That’s how I found Brock Davis’s artwork for us!)
~ Dr. Lynda
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- Davis, Brock. “Snoutlet.” Brock Davis. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Oct. 2015. <http://www.itistheworldthatmadeyousmall.com/46341/245817/selected-works/snoutlet>. ↩