Saturday, November 01, 2008

Koh-Varilla's New Studio

I had to bike way up the north side
last weekend
to attend the open house
of the new Koh-Varilla sculpture studio

I met Jeff Varilla about 30 years ago
when we talked until dawn
about our mutual enthusiasm
for the things that hang on art museum walls.

Above is one of his paintings from that era.

Here is a work from 1990
by Jeff's wife, Anna Koh,
a Korean student
he met at the Art Institute

Since that time,
the two have built
quite a career in collaboration
on commission sculpture,
especially for churches.

And now -- they've
built their own, new studio

which includes a gallery
for their work,
(not all of which is religious)

If only they
were commissioned to do
an updated version of St. Theresa in Ecstasy!

I think their collaboration works so well
the one (Jeff)
is so meticulous
while the other (Anna)
is so passionate

These are two of the medallions
hang above the entrance to the studio

and now we get to see the works
in progress

They feel so Romantic!

This is their most recent big piece,
that's Mother Theresa on the left

Jeff doesn't do much painting any more,
doesn't this feel
like something by Hugo Van Der Goes ?

Their specialty
in recent years
has been M.L.K.

as important to American public sculptors of today
as Abe Lincoln was a hundred years ago

And following in the tradition of ancient Rome,
they do a great job with
portraits of
distinguished old men

Can you identify
these two American presidents ?

They just did a life-size
standing figure of Hubert Humphrey

(and I hope they get to make some Obamas)

What a sweet little boy.

(they have a son themselves,
I wonder if he will
grow up to be a sculptor)


Blogger Robert said...

Can you confirm if the little boy has glass eyes? Some of the others seem to have them too. I like the study of the older guy done by his wife (with left hand on a ball and right on his face).

Can you explain the bronze of the two girls, one standing and perhaps another picture from another angle; of both that one and the one below which I find reminiscent of Rodin?

Has anyone been commissioned to do a Bush junior?

November 02, 2008  
Anonymous Amanda J. Sisk said...

I like the last piece you've shared with us (surprisingly, as I do not usually respond to images of children), and I wish them both great success. The work reminds me of that being produced at the FAA.

November 02, 2008  
Blogger chris miller said...

Regarding glass eyes: no -- but since the ancients did that kind of thing, I'm sure they've been tempted

Regarding the two girls -- I probably asked them once -- but have since forgotten (and prefer it to remain a mystery)

November 02, 2008  
Blogger Robert said...

Sorry silly question, or at least badly put; what I meant to ask was it there a title, and any more photos, I was intrigued by the signature not by the "mysterious" subject matter!!!

November 03, 2008  

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