BOB SORANI                                     SCULPTOR

  Santa Rosa, California                                                Internet Exhibit: http://www.sonoma.edu/people/sorani 
       (707) 542-1689                                                  e-mail: Bob.Sorani@Sonoma.edu
 

Medium: Stone and wood

I obtained my BS in 1958, and in 1967 completed my Ph.D. in Physical Education. I enjoyed 35 years as a coach and a teacher of physical education/ kinesiology. In 1994 I retired from teaching to pursue sculpting full time.

I consider myself largely self taught, though I have taken several brief workshops from other sculptors. I enjoy creating in a variety of styles and forms, ranging from carved roses, whimsical pine or basswood figures,  and both representational and abstract human forms and expressions of motion.  Part of the enjoyment of carving directly with stone or wood I believe relates to my background as a very physical, active person. I like the physical interaction, the intimate involvement that takes place between myself and the material. Also, in this age of "instant everything", I find it very pleasing to work at something that evolves slowly and painstakingly.

At present the primary (though not total) theme of my work is sport and movement. For me, the alliance of sport and sculpture is a very natural one. My own past experiences of sport and movement often serve as a point of departure. I have discovered, observed and experienced the beauty of movement and the endless variety of its form, and I delight in the challenge as I attempt to creatively express these qualities and realities . . .to transcend the actual fact, the actual experience.

I find I am challenged most by my "motion" pieces, and often view my art as being a tightrope balance between abstraction and representation. In order to keep a form rooted in reality, in order to preserve the character and meaning of a subject, it is necessary to maintain some amount of figural elements. On the other hand, by eliminating unnecessary detail and superficial likeness, and concentrating primarily on the essentials, I am much more likely to succeed in grasping the nature of my subject and progress from a motionless figure to the act of moving itself. Many artists have expressed this concept, that the more one wishes to focus on motion, and the more dynamic that motion, the more one must exaggerate or "abstract" from reality. Perhaps Brancusi said it best when discussing his work the fish. He said:

When you see a fish, you do not think of its scales, do you? You think of its speed, its floating, flashing body seen through water . . . well, I've tried to express just that. If I made fins and eyes and scales, I would arrest its movement and hold you by a pattern, or a shape of reality. I want just the flash of its spirit.
The pieces in this exhibit represent only the beginning of my effort to express in stone and wood a poetry of motion . . . . to try to capture some of the flash and the spirit. In viewing them, I hope that you can identify with them in a meaningful way, and that you might experience some of the pleasure that I have enjoyed in creating them.