Question: Tell about “If at first you dont succeed…”
The piece is titled “If at first you dont succeed…” and comes out of a collection of sculptures I did with a grant I received from the Artist Foundation of San Antonio in 2007. (Chez Bernard grant for underrepresented artists).
It is comprised of a salvaged/restored chair, a hand carved wooden dowel, metal hardware, and 23K gold leaf. The title is based on an idea I came up with as I was looking at the chair in my studio right after I pulled it from trash pile on the east side of San Antonio.
It was broken in three pieces. I put it back together and it was missing a leg in the back. I then noticed that on the upholstered seat of the chair there was a scenario of a young man seemingly trying to have his way with a young girl who seemed to be playing hard to get? I was charmed at that idea and the story seemed to work somehow with this broken down partially restored object I had in front of me. The title then hit me and instead of calling it “If at first you don’t succeed try, try, again” I decided to leave the “try, try, again” off so that the viewer is left to consider what in the end happens when one finds themselves in a hopeless state (i.e. in Love- which btw happened to be the theme for the series of sculptures I was working on for the grant)? The dowel/dagger that goes through the chair cushion becomes a metaphor for penetration/death. But….in the end this dagger ends up being the very thing that keeps the chair up! So there becomes this question (I hope) that we ask
ourselves “If at first you don’t succeed…” is it really the end? or can there be a moment of salvation that is not yet realized?? Must we first suffer through our
pain and heal from our wounds etc.,etc.??
Anyways, I know this was a bit narrative and lengthy but maybe it helps some in making sense of the piece beyond its visual impact.