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Hill Gallery present the
14 November 2013
November 2013 -
Richard L. Minns:
Meet-the-Artist Event. The first time in London meet the sculptor
Richard L. Minns during the Private View of his sculptures from
Renaissance Neo-Classical to Pop Modern featuring the Atlas Shrugged
quadrilogy (tribute to Ayn Rand), Tarzan Lives, Biblical and
The Weight of the World
This November, Hay Hill Gallery proudly presents a collection of sculpture by the renowned artist Richard Minns. His dynamic creations feature figures from biblical narrative and Greek myth, stories of shining heroes and crippling power struggles. The opposition between man and the gods, men and women, mortality and immortality are recurring themes described by these hauntingly beautiful works.
Anchored to the material world, many of Minns’ heroes are flawed and ultimately bound by gravity. Mainly nude or semi-clad, these muscular subjects remind the viewer simultaneously of vulnerability and power. The Atlas Shrugged series interprets Ayn Rand’s central message of individualism and objective thought; that the most depraved human being is ‘the man without purpose’, that identity comes only from how successful we are with what we’ve been given. The sculptures embody a sense of earthy determination, bodies the colour of blood and sweat beneath the looming silvery globes. In another scenario Atlas battles against his fate, pinned between earth and sky, limbs raging through the very skin of the sea.
Minns himself has proved to be the irrepressible master of reinvention, continuously journeying from one successful venture to another. Legendary as a boxing champion and a rodeo competitor, famous as a multi-millionaire tycoon, he is as tall in reality as the tales appear. With a retirement that lasted all of one week, Minns went on to wrestle two great white sharks, take a wild spin on the back of a 16ft wide giant ray, and now in his fourteenth career he has become a much respected artist in a cynical world.
In Creation of Adam III, the first man is held in God’s outstretched hand, reminding us that we too are made in that image, though in a cruel twist we are mortal. Man is both the created and the creator, formed of clay yet sculpting the hand of God in human likeness. Eve is drawn from Adam’s side and becomes his downfall in the desire for earthly rather than godly things. This original struggle between men and women is presented in several of Minns’ works, particularly regarding the danger of beauty.
Pygmalion Creates Galatea depicts a man fallen in hopeless love with a lifeless sculpture; Diana Punishes Actaeon shows the hunter ensnared like a stag by the goddess resulting in his death at the teeth of his own hounds. Minns questions the invincibility of a proud man or seductive woman with the inevitability of illness, old age- and ultimately death.
Having made his fortune through the world’s first publicly-listed network of Health and Fitness Spas, this world-class artist is surely a force to be reckoned with, pushing beyond ordinary boundaries of strength and mental agility. His fascination with the human anatomy is clearly communicated through each striking work at Hay Hill Gallery; and where he once dictated exact specifications for his own honed muscles, he now fluently renders the perfectly sleek forms of golden heroes and demi-gods.
Tarzan Lives! might be a self-portrait, ‘stripping off the thin veneer of civilisation’. The artist tests his own personal speed and agility, challenging nature by setting physical endurance world records for every birthday. Every year for Minns is more extraordinary than the last, fighting dangerous creatures or terminal illness he reinforces his own mythology. Meticulously detailed, these bronze figures are the soulful mouthpiece of his philosophy, drawing out living tensions between flesh and spirit.
Richard Minns’ sculptures embody his own inner feelings and capture his soul. When he won the battle against cancer, he created Against Goliath, a triumphant David standing over the beheaded giant. This hero stands like a proud matador, his posture a symbol of victory, holding Goliath’s huge sword behind him in his right hand, with his left hand dramatically outstretched. Here we see true brightness in the metal, a spirited masterwork catching glints of light, sparks flickering within the dark patina. Breathing fire into every one of his creations, Minns imbues them with energy from his own inexhaustible source.