My new life-scale sculpture of Venus & other works

Discussion in 'Social Hub' started by Thomas R. Morrison, Jan 30, 2019.

  1. Thomas R. Morrison

    Thomas R. Morrison Administrator

    On Saturday evening, January 12th, we held a very special private preview event here at my studio in New Orleans to present two newly completed major projects; this life-scale sculpture of Venus in clay, and my recently completed theoretical physics paper which describes a new model of spacetime and relativistic kinematics that sets Einstein’s special theory of relativity within a more comprehensive physical context.

    Here is Venus:

    Venus.clay.1.jpg Venus.clay.2.jpg Venus.clay.3.jpg Venus.clay.4.jpg Venus.clay.5.jpg Venus.clay.6.jpg Venus.clay.7.jpg

    She has the most beautiful face that I've ever sculpted, but you can only see it clearly by looking up from below:

    Venus.clay.9.jpg Venus.clay.10.jpg

    And here are some pics taken during the physics presentation - two of my physics PhD friends flew in from out of state to be here for the event and they've both conducted an informal peer-review of my paper and found no flaws in it:

    Physics presentation 1.jpg

    I like this shot because you can see the full sculpture and my spacetime diagrams on the wall:

    Physics presentation 2.jpg

    Physics presentation 3.jpg

    Those are the enchanting and electrifying Ormiston twins in the foreground - they were in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay.

    This is my favorite picture ever:

    Best picture ever.jpg

    I really need to have more of these events =D
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  2. Thomas R. Morrison

    Thomas R. Morrison Administrator

    I also just finished a small sculpture of this 10ft piece that I took to Burning Man one year, and which has been a favorite in New Orleans Carnival - initially I called her Transoceanic Aphrodite because she looked like she was wading through the desert at Burning Man:


    And here's the new clay sculpture of her, which will be mounted on a polished black granite base with a brass plaque in the front:

    Aphrodite maquette  1.JPG
    Aphrodite maquette  2.JPG
    Aphrodite maquette 3.JPG
    Aphrodite maquette 4.JPG

    This is a rough study for a pair of dragons that I'd like to make for the threshold to the building where my studio is located:

    Dragon 1.JPG
    Dragon 2.JPG
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
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  3. Thomas R. Morrison

    Thomas R. Morrison Administrator

    Okay so this is going to be a whole bunch of stuff - this may make the page load really slowly but here we go:

    Some of my sculptures for the top parades in New Orleans Carnival - these range from about 8ft tall to 14ft tall:

    3.Pygmalion Plate.jpg
    4.Galatea Plate.jpg
    6.Morpheus Plate.jpg 7.Hermes 14ft commission 2000.jpg
    8.Chariot of Helios 35ft commission 2004.jpg
    9.Athena 13ft commission 2004.jpg
    10.Pan 10ft commission 2000.jpg
    11.Semele 13ft commission 2006.jpg
    12.Syrinx 8ft commission 2005.jpg
    13.Proteus 10ft commission 2003.jpg
    14.Sea Horse.10ft.Conde Cavaliers.2004.jpg
    15.Hypnos 12ft commission 2005.jpg
    16.Pallene 8ft commission 2003.jpg
    18.Dionysus 8ft commission 2008.jpg
    19.Ariadne 8ft commission 2006.jpg

    Here are some of the commissions I've done for clients around the world - this one was robotically animated for a theatrical stage show in South Korea:

    20.Animatronic Angel 11ft commission 1993.jpg

    I sculpted the three-story Harley-Davidson motorcycle on the Las Vegas Strip when I was 27 - this one took me three months to sculpt:

    21.Motorcycle 30ft commission 1997.jpg

    A life-scale sculpture of Shaq for Sneaker Stadium - they made me sculpt him to totally fictitious measurements akin to Superman, but I did my best to make it look natural:
    24.Shaquille O'Neal commission 1997.jpg

    This is a 3ft sculpture of a Banana spider for the Audubon Institute - I scared the crap out of my mother with this thing, which is why I'm going to Hell:

    25.Argiope Aurantia Spider 3ft commission 2001.jpg
    Aw crap - it's only letting me upload 20 images per post. To be continued...
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
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  4. Shadowprophet

    Shadowprophet Truthiness

    Damn, so that's where you have been? Did you make this? I have to say, That's stunning. Absolutely stunning bro.
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  5. The shadow

    The shadow The shadow knows!

    I am impressed! well done! BRAVO!
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  6. Thomas R. Morrison

    Thomas R. Morrison Administrator

    Thanks man - yeah I figured it was time to show you guys what I do for a living; I made all of these sculptures, and hundreds of others for clients ranging from Paramount and MGM and Disney, to Las Vegas and New Orleans casinos and hotels, to works for other fine artists, and I designed and sculpted works for and art directed and produced the most celebrated parade in New Orleans Carnival, among other stuff.
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  7. Shadowprophet

    Shadowprophet Truthiness

    Shoot for the stars brother, I've seen a lot of art in my lifetime, I didn't major in Art, But I studied it for years, You have the skill of one of the greats, Not only do you capture the shape and proportion but the emotion as well, That's not easy to do, I think this was your calling bro :)
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  8. Shadowprophet

    Shadowprophet Truthiness

    I keep looking at these pictures, I can't get over the detail in them. It really is amazing. I'm guessing you had to study anatomy for a while, I mean, You gave detail to bones in the hand's and legs and knees, That most people aren't even aware people have.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
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  9. Thomas R. Morrison

    Thomas R. Morrison Administrator

    It's terrific to hear that - thank you brother. I've spent nearly all of my life working around the clock, usually alone in dingy studios, so it's cool to hear that you enjoy the results.

    Hold on there's more, and these are just the favorites - I didn't even bother to take pictures of a few hundred of the pieces that were more just day-to-day kinds of pieces...
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  10. Ritzy

    Ritzy Super Novice

    Neat-o! :smile8:
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  11. Thomas R. Morrison

    Thomas R. Morrison Administrator

    This is at the Cincinnati Zoo:

    27.Gorillas 6ft commission 2002.jpg

    Yes I've had to sculpt Mickey Mouse - that's what pays the bills in this country; but their top art director said that mine was the best Mickey he'd ever seen, so that counts for something I guess:

    28.Mickey 5ft commission 1995.jpg

    I made the characters for Fantasia Gardens in Disneyworld:


    Betty Boop for the MGM Grand in Vegas:

    30.Betty Boop.jpg

    I sculpted all the characters for the Mel Blanc commemorative set called "Speechless" after Mel Blanc died:


    I designed, art directed, and produced the most award-winning parade in New Orleans Carnival - here are some of the floats I made with my team of painters and decorators...we worked like dogs all year long to make these parades but it was worth it to so completely crush our competition:

    9.Ariadne Among the Stars for the Krewe of Hermes.jpg
    10.The Beauty of Psyche for the Krewe of Hermes.jpg

    This float was actually the first digitally sequenced audiovisual float in New Orleans Carnival - I designed the circuitry myself, that played out the scene where Zeus reveals himself in his true form of pure energy to his lover Semele, and in the moment of her destruction she gives birth prematurely to their son Dionysus, who is seen here as a fetus at her fingertip. Sometimes it amazes me the shit I got away with. The last part of the sequence is the illuminated pulsating heart inside of the translucent fetus (which I made out of brass and bright colored LEDs) throbbing to the sound of an actual heartbeat:
    11.The Birth of Dionysus for the Krewe of Hermes.jpg
    12.The Chivalrous Ants Assist Psyche for the Krewe of Hermes.jpg
    13.Cupid's Hallowed Grove for the Krewe of Hermes.jpg
    14.Hermes.Herald of Dreams for the Krewe of Hermes.jpg
    15.Aphrodite Blesses Pandora with Her Beauties for the Krewe of Hermes.jpg

    We made the Maenad riding the serpent on this float look like the cutest girl on our team:

    16.The Maenads at War for the Krewe of Hermes.jpg
    17.Wrestling Pallene for the Krewe of Hermes.jpg
    18.The Salvation of Semele for the Krewe of Hermes.jpg
    19.The Marriage of Pallene and Dionysus for the Krewe of Hermes.jpg
    20.Pogrom at Phrygia for the Krewe of Hermes.jpg
    22.The Kingdom of Poseidon for the Krewe of Hermes.jpg
    23.The Triumph of India for the Krewe of Hermes.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
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  12. Thomas R. Morrison

    Thomas R. Morrison Administrator

    Thank you, good Sir! Venus has taught me so much - I can't wait to make more museum-quality life-scale and monumental works and share them with you here. If I get the green light to make my life-scale sculpture of the goddess Nyx (I see her as the patron deity of New Orleans) to put on a pedestal on a major thoroughfare in New Orleans, I'm going to approach the city about making public monuments of celebrated cultural figures of New Orleans, to fill the vacancies left behind by the Confederate monuments that were taken down.

    Here are my bronze editions - Venus will join this collection once I make the first bronze casting of her:

    3.Morrison.Kore.Edition of 24.jpg
    This is the basic concept for the life-scale monument of Nyx that I want to make, but I made a design improvement to her torso which is going to be very lovely:

    4.Morrison.Nyx.Edition of 24.jpg 5.Morrison.Penelope.Edition of 24.jpg
    6.Morrison.Ulysses and the Sirens.Edition of 24.jpg
    7.Morrison.Andromeda.Edition of 24.jpg
    8.Morrison.Chrysalis.Edition of 24.jpg
    9.Morrison.Pillar.Edition of 24.jpg
    10.Morrison.Triumph.bronze.edition of 24.jpg

    You can see several of my bronzes in the new Netflix movie The Last Laugh which just came out - Andie MacDowell plays a sculptor who turns the Chevy Chase character's life around, and they used my work as her character's (which I was thrilled with, I've loved Andie MacDowell ever since Groundhog Day):

    The Last Laugh.Nyx.jpg

    The Last Laugh.Penelope.jpg

    The Last Laugh.Chrysalis.jpg

    The Last Laugh.Andromeda.jpg

    I made a gargoyle bearing Medusa's head and we mounted it on a friend's chimney (the grandson of famed American playwright Sinclair Lewis), and people keep tracking me down somehow and asking for castings of the wee blighter. I cast him in this incredibly durable lightweight material so he only weighs about 17 lbs. I've made about 24 of these so far....I think there are about half a dozen in the city and the rest are scattered across the country - the funny thing is, they seem to stop vandalism in its tracks wherever we put them up...apparently they scare the crap out of criminals:

    13.Morrison.New Orleans Gargoyle.Edition of 100.jpg

    Here are some of my drawings:

    23.Mary Lynn.jpg
    24.Romeo Captures the Moon (Raising a sea of dreams).jpg
    26.Pantheon Panel #3.jpg
    27.Café Girl.jpg
    28.The Sacred Heart.jpg
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
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  13. Ron67

    Ron67 Ignorance isn’t bliss!

    Thomas you are annoyingly,ridiculously talented.Your body of work is stunning.And then you have a level of physics that leaves me like a chimp trying to understand Mandarin!.I don't know how you find the time.I wish you success in all you do.As someone already said.Bravo!!
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  14. Thomas R. Morrison

    Thomas R. Morrison Administrator

    Delighted to annoy you so, Ron67, thank you =P

    Honestly I've been able to do both things by simply eliminating everything else - there's plenty of time in the day when you strip it down to sculpting, research, eating, and sleeping.

    I'm really looking forward to explaining my theoretical physics paper to you all, but there's a moratorium against publicizing a paper before it's been through the journal's peer-review process, and I have to assume that sharing it online would be a violation of that policy. You'll understand it too - it's surprisingly simple when it's explained properly.

    Fun times ahead :)
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  15. Wade

    Wade Stare..... They are always staring


    I love that image of Pan I have a special attachment to that figure, also was/is there a significance to the position that you had Venus in, lastly what materials do you like to work with the most and which do you avoid if you have to?
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  16. Thomas R. Morrison

    Thomas R. Morrison Administrator

    Thank you Wade! I’m glad you like Pan – he was actually the first sculpture that I made for the Krewe of Hermes parade here in New Orleans, which kicked off about nine years of triumphant projects that revitalized New Orleans Carnival culture. I wish I’d finished the copper Pan flute before the figure got painted – it looked great in his hand.

    Venus is levitating to express that buoyant, weightless feeling that you get in your bones when you’re in love. Originally I thought of her as a dreamer floating out of her body in her sleep, but then I realized that she was about that upwelling feeling from the heart that fills your entire body, rather than an OBE.

    I’ve only avoided one medium – papier-mâché, which is a very common medium in New Orleans Carnival. I was shocked when I saw that people were sculpting that way for the parades – papier-mâché wasn’t something I’d seen since kindergarten. It’s possible to make paper castings out of a mold – that’s a different thing. But people make paper and cardboard sculptures for some parades here, and at best that can look only slightly crappy.

    I’ve worked in every other medium in the industry, and they all have their place – really the choice of medium comes down to the scale, the budget, and the application. Clay, plaster, and stone are generally the way to go for fine artwork, but there are lots of different kinds of clay-like mediums for very small sculptures and jewelry, and there are different types and densities of rigid foam materials for large works that need to be lightweight, like most of my sculptures for Carnival. The gargoyle bearing Medusa’s head is cast in a mid-density polyurethane casting foam (about as hard as a pine two-by-four), but super lightweight – about 17 lbs overall, so he can be attached to anything, even the old chimney with disintegrating mortar that we first mounted him on.

    If anyone wants to make some kind of project, just lemme know what you want to do and I can recommend the best materials and processes for it – after 30 years of working in the crucible of sculpture production for the entertainment and fine art industries, I’m well-acquainted with every type of production process on the planet, and can point you in the right direction to successfully create anything you want.
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  17. Rikki

    Rikki High Priestess

    I join my husband in giving praise to these works. You have captured well the sprit of the classical Greek sculptures.
    I look forward to seeing more of your work.
    Blessed be
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  18. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

    Looking forward to this, is your paper in peer review now?...

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  19. Thomas R. Morrison

    Thomas R. Morrison Administrator

    No quite yet. The other day I sent a preprint to a theoretical physicist whose work I admire, and he had some excellent suggestions. So I need to go back and write a new draft that incorporates his ideas, and then I'll submit it to a journal. They'll evaluate it and decide if they're interested in it, and if so, they'll start the peer-review process. If not, I'll have to reformat it for a different journal - each one has different style guides and formatting restrictions. Typically it takes weeks to months to go through the peer-review process once it begins, because there's a lot of back-and-forth and various types of revisions along the way ranging from editorial revisions to mathematical revisions to graphics revisions etc. I won't be able to start talking about it publicly until I'm about a week from publication.
  20. Thomas R. Morrison

    Thomas R. Morrison Administrator

    I thought you guys might like to see a couple of sculptures that I just finished for the next New Orleans Carnival season (whenever that may be).

    This is Persephone - which I sculpted and a talented artist who works for me painted:


    And this is Hecate, which I sculpted and painted with the assistance of another very talented artist:


    And we just completed a couple of R&D projects - I'll posts pics and video of those soon ;
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