Over the holidays, I was delighted to acquire at long last a figurative sculpture for my home. The piece, more than one hundred years old, is missing its head and parts of its arms, and other portions of it are corroded or darkened with time. I still love it, though, and, in fact, I probably love it more than if it was complete.
This statue made me think about my charcoal drawings of the human figure, many of which served originally as studies and depict partial or incomplete forms. It occurs to me that in these works, I, too, prefer the fragmentary to the whole.
Often, I have struggled to complete such drawings, only to be dissatisfied by doing so. Perhaps, it is as Rainer Maria Rilke wrote in his famous poem "Archaic Torso of Apollo" that if the sculpture were compete, we would not be so dazzled, and it would not, "from all the borders of itself, burst like a star."