Sculpture is an art form I’ve wanted to foray into for a long time now — taking some of my illustrations and realizing them in full dimension. Unfortunately, it’s an ambition that’s so far remained impeded by a life of constant upheaval and spatial constraints. Patricia Knop’s work has captivated me for years. Whenever I look at it, it never fails to reposition the flames from the back burners squarely under my backside, and I start thinking to myself how I really need to get my hands in some mud before the arthritis sets in!
I first discovered Mrs. Knop’s unique talent after buying some old press clippings from the late sixties of Zalman King, whose early acting career I was jonesing on at the time (I even commissioned a woman to recreate for me one of the sweaters his character wore in The Ski Bum). One of the spreads among this collection of clippings included an interview from 1971 with Zalman and his lifelong companion/wife, Patricia Knop, accompanied by photos of Patricia’s life-size sculptures. I instantly went ape for her work, especially when I discovered that she was a completely self-taught artist. The sinewy, diaphanous quality of her renderings continues to arouse sensations in me that no other sculptor’s work ever has. (I also consider her and Zalman one of the coolest artist couples that ever there was; you can readily perceive how they both cared for and believed in one another.)
Knop’s emphasis on hands, feet and hair is something I very much share in with my own work. Creating on such a scale is something I can only dream of, however. It’s a gutty statement in and of itself, especially since her pieces were HUGE from the start. Most pieces I’ve created over the years have tended toward the diminutive. I want very much to get away from that.
Besides inspiring me as an artist, Knop’s works also compel me to want to transcend the bounds of tense and space; they remind me not to let myself get too swept off course by the here ‘n’ now and all the bad winds that wicked and selfish people wantonly fart into my sails. Again, maybe it’s the sheer size of her pieces that inspires me to think bigger and soar beyond all of the noise. For after all the inevitable hardships she’s no doubt endured throughout her own long lifetime — including the loss early last year of her husband to cancer — here remains this woman’s magnificent sculptures, towering almost defiantly in the face of the base and the mundane, and indeed, even time itself…yeah…
From May 20 through June 20, 2013, Trigg Ison Fine Art will present “Patricia Knop: SIDESHOW – Paintings and Sculpture 1968-2013.” The exhibition will unveil a comprehensive look at the prolific career of Patricia Knop featuring sculpture and paintings never before seen by the public.
I’m hoping to get out to this event myself. If you’re reading this and are in the downtown LA area, do yourself a favor and check it out, (and then write me and tell me what you thought!).