Andre Stead is chiefly a figurative sculptor and he has focused primarily on figurative sculpture throughout his career. He works in modern materials such as resin, plexiglass, aluminium and bronze . Born in Evander, he now works and lives in cape town. Andre is represented by the Christopher Moller Art gallery. Andre's newest body of work The Elemental Man series is derived from an in-depth study of the human male. The development of the series started with a number of nude photographic shoots documenting the physical attributes of the male form performing everyday actions and movements. The photographic reference was used to create a series of realistic figurative oil paintings that illustrate the movement of the male figure. The paintings allowed the artist to explore the reference material in-depth and to transcribe it at an intellectual level. It is during this phase of the creative process that the conceptual value of a body of work is defined and the series forms its own identity. as this series is part of an ongoing study of the human condition, it is not only the physical attributes of the male form that is studied but rather the male as a whole, mind, body and soul.
Aerial Man, Resin M/12, 76x20x27cm
Fire Man, Resin M/12, 75x24x2
The Aerial man is based on an earlier piece titled “Star gazer”, a carved wooden female figure gazing at the stars, hands clasped behind her head. The Aerial man, although quit different, it also focused at the heavens supporting his head with his hands. It is in the head that fleeting thoughts reside and human thought have long been associated with the air. A person with an expressive and social temperament is as free flowing and interactive as the wind and that is perhaps why this association has been so widely used throughout the ages. The Aerial man represents the thoughts of man and it is through thinking at a social level that man will grow and mature in the future.
The Fire man is inspired by the 14th century sculpture of David by Michaelangelo, a piece that depicts David, a young man who conquered Goliath the giant. Fire is often associated with a choleric or driving personality, a temperament coherent with leaders and heroes. The Fire man represents the strength and courage of men and the power and energy of conviction. The figure’s forearm and head is fused together indicating the synthesis of coherent thought and action. The man’s subtle masculine features are testament to the underlying power of this seemingly calm and collected figure.
Aquatic Man, Resin M/12, 74x27.5x21cm
Earth Man, Resin M/12, 54x20x35cm
The Aquatic man portrays a man walking forward whilst looking sideways, as if his body is going one direction and his thoughts and focus in another. This is often the nature of emotion, flowing in a direction as if by a force of its own. Water is also associated with a phlegmatic personality or someone who is calm, supportive and understanding, and has an emotional connection with the world. Similar to the currents and cross currents of the oceans that are in a constant state of flux the sea of emotions in a man are ever changing. The Aquatic man portrays this constant movement through the fluid forward motion of the figure’s flowing form.
The Earth man sculpture portrays a man bending over forward with his arms hanging down and his feet firmly on the ground. The man's posture emulates a melancholic gesture as he looks downward and inward towards himself, his face shielded from the viewer. The concept of caves representing the solemn, solitary sanctuaries of the earth is evident in the negative space created by the bending figure. Although the figure itself is devoid of negative space, the man’s bent back and hanging arms create what appears to be an arched doorway. This imagery is very reminiscent of the Dolmen of Northern Ireland (standing stones that resemble Pi, the most recognized mathematical constant in the world), that are called giants graves. This was also used as the symbol for earth in some ancient cultures.