“Like the layers of an onion, the talents of Douglass Gray peel back to reveal yet another skill or accomplishment, then still more. Yet he said he was surprised and pleased when his sculpture, “Icarus Revisited,” was honored as Best of Show, topping the other 255 pieces of art (selected from some 600 entries) in the recent 43rd annual Juried Art Show at the Plymouth Center for the Arts.”– Doris Johnson (Wicked Local)
This is a steel sculpture based on the Greek myth of Icarus and his father who made wings of wax and flew too close to the sun. The heat of the sun melted the wax and they fell to their deaths. There are four elements in this sculpture that represent this myth. The sun is represented by the open circle. The sun’s rays are the four pointed pieces slightly lower. The wings are just below and are of triangular-like shapes. Opposite the wings, the narrow vertical rods represent the melting wax.
I was trained as a painter but gradually realized that the two dimensional format became uncomfortable and restrictive for me. The paintings seemed to urge me to translate my thoughts and ideas into a three dimensional form. My early pieces were basically two dimensional sculptures until the mid-seventies. By then I had trained my mind to develop ideas in two dimensional sketches and “see” them as being three dimensional objects.
Douglass Gray – Artist’s Statement
I prefer working with steel for several reasons. For me, steel has both lyrical and stoic qualities. The apparent cold, hard qualities of the material can be softened by its form and the way light plays across the surfaces, as well as the warmth of the patina that the weathered surfaces provide. Most, if not all of my sculptures rely on a positive and negative space design concept that I have been intrigued with since my painting days. Also important are the ever changing shadows that occur within or around each piece. The fact that most of my pieces can be shown inside or outside is exciting to me because of changing persona that they take on depending on the surrounding environment and light. Lastly, I have to admit that I enjoy not only the envisioning of the pieces, but also the physical effort required to complete those visions.