Today we’d like to introduce you to Maidy Morhous.
Maidy, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
The European’s have a tremendous appreciation of the arts, my mother had spent her childhood in Europe instilled in me, at a very young age, this love of the arts. I took dance lessons, played cello and love to work with my hands was constantly involved with craft projects and clay. My parents took me to museums, music and dance productions to help further my interest.
I continued in this direction when I entered the University, and received my Master of Fine Arts degree in Printmaking and Sculpture, with further studies at Stanley Hayter’s Atelier 17 in Paris, France. Before returning to the States I traveled to Italy to study casting techniques at the Fonderia Artistica Marinelli Foundry, in Florence. Planning to teach at the university level once I got out of the University, I suddenly found myself selling my artwork to an international dealer fulltime for a period of ten years.
Becoming frustrated with the commercial end of art; having to abide by desired subject matter, color and size restraints led me to move to north county San Diego where I could create, as a true artist – for myself! Over the years I moved back into my love of sculpting and the bronze technique as I raised two children. I entered art shows and international competitions and had my share of rejections, but I persevered and can say today, that while I still get rejection notices, many more avenues seem to be opening for my artwork.
Approximately seven years ago I got the whim to do something totally different to express myself creatively, which up to then was basically using the human figure as a statement. The change allowed me to voice my social and political ideas, as well as pure idiomatic ideas, through inanimate objects; a pop art portrayal of fine art.
My sculptures cannot be taken in with one glance. They expose the viewer to and pull him in to react and question what he is viewing; be it to question life and one’s existence, the world’s plight or just to bring a smile. I have spent years examining social critique, political and cultural issues; the resistance to the oppression of socially inscribed narratives and socially dominating practice, which I present sublimely to the viewer leaving open to interpretation.
Idiomatic titles like “Don’t kill the goose!” and “Child Proof?” prompt the viewers to seek metaphorical interpretations to these works. These titles hint at multi-layered meanings. What you see is definitely not what you get! Constantly bombarded by social media of events happening around the world an artist should not ignore, but allow his artwork to be representative of today’s world, as a statement for viewers to react to and ponder.
“Art is a form of communication between the artist and the viewer. Art is about vision, and how that vision is expressed is what can create a strong emotional pull for the observer.” My artwork is currently on display at the Oceanside Museum of art, George Billis Gallery for the 2018 L.A. Invitational, galleries in Laguna Beach, San Francisco, Del Mar, New York, and at the National Sculpture Society 85th Annual Exhibition among other shows.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Creating a soft material that will become cold hard bronze presents its challenges. It takes years of experimenting with tool techniques and how they are represented once cast into bronze to satisfy oneself. The lost wax process of bronze casting is daunting in the laborious slow process and is an art in itself, but I believe that the main obstacle I have in my artwork is “myself” – I am the only one who can hold myself back, I am a recluse, I love to work alone quietly in my studio either painting or sculpting.
As a loner I find it a struggle to force myself to socialize and attend the events that will help promote my art; so I work indirectly by entering many exhibitions to show the world my creations. The challenge in the art world is that there are many great artists and it is hard to get noticed… and it is never an easy path.
Maidy Morhous – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I am definitely proud to say that I continued creating before, during and after having a family, which was not always easy, but at least in some form or other I was creating. I am also proud that after many years I have gone back to playing cello and enjoy the hours quietly playing at home; which is another form of Zen for me along with my artwork, or walks on the beach.
The lost wax process of bronze casting is a very old technique, and today fewer artists become involved incorporating the technique because of the intense labor required from start to finish, as well as the foundry costs to cast in bronze.
I mainly work in oil clay using anything from wire, wood, Styrofoam for the armature to hold the shape. A mold is made of my artwork, a wax is created and cleaned up, molten bronze is poured, chased, filed, and sandblasted for a color patina – the steps are long and laborious this technique is explained thoroughly on my website: https://www.MaidyMorhous.com.
My artwork is a statement of the world around me and how it affects me; my sculptures are not meant to be pretty, they are social or political statements or just bring a smile to the viewer. I believe my style and that I create to say something to the audience sets my artwork apart from others.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
One of my proudest moments is the solo show I currently have at the Oceanside Museum of Art running June 30th – October 7th with a closing reception scheduled for September 22nd 5-8pm – please plan to stop by to see my latest artwork. The show is called “Ordinary Stuff!” which I believe to be a very fun title for the artwork contained in the exhibition.
On 3-11-2013 three of my bronzes were dedicated by the sister city of Riverside CA to the people of Sendai Japan in commemoration of the Great earthquake and tsunami that occurred on 3/11/11. “I arrived in Tokyo Japan on March 7, 2011, to visit a society infused by elements of nature, honor, grace and ritual. As an artist, I came away with an admiration and great respect for the people; their sense of order, beauty, and love of nature. Little did I know that I would be part of one of the most devastating natural disasters in the history of Japan.
Having experienced the Tohoku Earthquake; watching the subsequent tsunami, and the Fukushima power plant scenario unfolds, I felt true helplessness. I came away from the experience totally distraught feeling that I needed to do more than just donate monetarily. As a sculptor, I created a series of bronze sculptures that were dedicated to the people of Japan, so future generations and visitors alike will not forget the devastation this community endured. ”
- Website: www.MaidyMorhous.com
- Email: Maidy@MaidyMorhous.com
- Instagram: Maidysculpts
- Facebook: MaidyMorhous