Greta Garbo: The Icon:
Her image has been photographed perhaps more than any other woman of her time. Modern Icons such as Madonna, have recreated their own image in the style of the photographs of Garbo, knowing that such a recognisable recall in viewers’ minds can only help to define their own image to the public.
Timeless: Garbo has an illusive yet seductive quality that is alluring to both men and women. It speaks as if to say, “Come to me..” and at the same time says, “I couldn’t care less if you come to me of not.”. Her image has seduced a generation, and still does. She has a carefree attitude with her tousled hair and casual dress. Her eyes sometimes look strait at you, and other times look just off camera to an unknown someone in the background, giving a wistful, distant quality. Her lazy, bedroom eyes are seductive and mesmerizing.
Usually photographed in black and white, her most recognised image is the one of her looking just to the right of the camera, at someone or something. The black and white image is something I wanted to capture in my sculpture of her. For this reason, I created a sort of black and white 3D portrait of her. The small model,
shown here (first image), I showed to Teaske Linting, owner of Garbo for Women, and the commission was finalized: A larger than life-sized portrait of Garbo, outside the entrance of the new Garbo for Women site.
To realize these conditions, I did not use the mediums I usually do, that of stone or bronze, but of baked ceramic. I started with about 60 kilos of clay. The portrait itself took a couple of months to get just right.
Because there is always a chance of possibility of the sculpture cracking or breaking in the kiln (oven), I made a mold of the original sculpture and from that made three sculptures For the mold I used plaster (gips). The photos of this process are here.
into the mold and when dry enough, I opened the mold and the first Garbo was born!
Leaving this one to dry, I began I began the process of pushing the clay into the mold to dry. As well as three sculptures, I also made four masks from the mold to test the black and white coloring. After a little touch up, I kissed the finished sculpture for luck,and put her into the kiln. With luck, it would not crack or break. It was to cook at 960 degrees, which would make it strong enough to resist cold winter months and the constant Dutch rain. After a few hours, the kiln had reached full temperature and cooled. I opened the kiln with a small amount of fear….Yes! She’s ok!, more than ok, she’s beautiful! Now for her make-up…
In the meantime, I had sketched a few designs for the writing on the base, which was to say, “Garbo for Women”. I hand painted this, as I did on the make-up.
All fitted and ready for delivery, I finish this blog with feelings of fatigue, but pride. All of these month were stress filled, a lot of very hard work, but exciting as hell and well worth it.
“Garbo: the Icon” was shown on 2 October at the New Garbo for Women venue at Miranda Pavillion. Shown here finished and next to myself, I look forward to the next Garbo for Women on 6 November and another great party! Sorry guys, only women to the party at 9 to dance! See: http://www.garboforwomen for times and more info.
I finish with sincere thanks to all the friends and colleagues who supported, encouraged me and put up with my stress:
Jose, Taeske, Judith, Farida, Hind, Nicolette, Yasmine, Donna, John, Harald, Martina, Anne-Marie, Debby, Magik, Laetitia, Bianca, Marlieke, Barbara, Magumbo, Jacoline, and I.P. Christian for his mold making expertise (www.christiandeco.nl)
Garbo of you own to take home? Limited editions of this sculpture, as well and the smaller model and masks of Garbo are available from the artist. Please see: http://www.artbychantz.com for prices, photos and contact info. See you soon at Garbo for Women!!