Dogman (1965) marked a turning point in my evolution as a sculptor.
Up to the time of Dogman, my work was based on a buildup of form by small elements. I am speaking of my most personal work, not of the public and private sculpture commissions I had done up to that date, commissions that involved areas of technique and content investigation. The search for intense and unmistakable expression had pointed me deeply into the bit by bit techniques, punctuated by intense personal questioning of each single gesture.
Something about the emotions inspiring Dogman left my basic technique wanting. I was into the enragement caused by the domination of brute force, the blinders put on intelligence – true to this day – and by the dominance of a summing up of these things through the presence of a force of an unshakable, and phallic variety. What enraged me then continues to do so. Dogman was my effort to come to terms with this. The was question was also somewhat addressed in Woman As She Should Be, a piece in hammered copper that preceded Dogman. My first commission in Paris had led me to the acquisition of basic hammering techniques and also to the establishment of my foundry, based on the lost styrofoam technique. All of this affected the context in which Dogman came to be.
Dogman required a formulation of my perceptions about our materialistic, Pavlovian-dog conditioned consumerism, with its accompanying stupefying effect. He necessitated the making of a model which dictated the severely decisive forms that compose his existence. In putting forth this image of brute – phallic – blind contemporary man, the “dogman” I had in mind, I wanted to provoke a line of reflection capable of producing a significant awareness of those consumeristic parameters in today’s world.
As a metal sculptor, Dogman therefore marked my desire to be deliberate, to be intentional rather than primarily intuitive in the creation of the forms needed to say what I wanted to say.