About Todji Kurtzman
My sculptures are created from intuition, discipline and a journey of self- realization. My intellectual understanding of what I create, summarized below, develops long after the execution of the work.
Sculptors throughout the ages have employed a forced perspective technique, enlarging the head, torso and shoulders of monuments to create the illusion of correct proportions when seen from below. Michelangelo sculpted “David” with a forced perspective, making the top of the monument proportionally bigger to great effect.
In my work, I apply a signature interpretation to this age old technique, executing it with the exact opposite intent.
Our eyes help us to estimate the size and distance of objects by making far away objects look smaller and close objects look bigger. Just as a skyscraper appears to be narrower at the top, or a parent appears to have a little head and enormous legs to a small child; my sculptures give physical form to the ocular phenomenon that happens between the eye and the brain when we view objects that are both close and far away.
On another level, the exaggerated proportions of my sculpture give physical form to the image that the brain “sees” of our bodies when one has ”lost oneself” in concentrated movement. At peak moments one’s body disappears and the appendage of focus becomes ”enormous” in the mind’s eye.
My sculptures make welcome the West’s displaced archetypes of nature divinity, individual divinity, gender balance, fertility, virility, yin and yang, encompassed by Todji’s principle of Infinite Simultaneous Spiritual Truths.
An Enthusiast, as defined by anthropologist Lewis Hyde, is a person who finds spiritual expression through the body. The practitioners of Candomble, Santeria, Vodun, Dionysian temple dancers of ancient Greece, indigenous religions, as well as elements of Judaism, Islam and Christianity, all practice(d) codified rhythms and dances to enter ecstatic states for community and personal transformation. While I was raised culturally removed from this practice, I can look back upon a lifetime pursuit of this expression.
In my work I collaborate with dancers and musicians; African, Latin, post-modern, modern, capoeira and experimental. I am enamored with Afro-Brazilian and Afro-Cuban music and dance, and indigenous knowledge of plant medicines. I consider my involvement and exploration of these spiritual dances, music, mythology and healing arts, as a way to expand the metaphysical consciousness of my work.
I sculpt in clay and cast in bronze because I believe my work will stand the test of time and the 3000 year longevity of bronze is an antithesis to our culture of the disposable. I have recently begun to work in organic materials, inspried by my ascending ecological consciousness and travels in South America.
If humans in the 21st century are to avert mutually assured ecological destruction, mainstream cultures must re-discover, re-tell and thus re-live our nature-harmonious mythologies. Indeed we live the stories we tell.
My contribution to this imperative mythological transformation is to acknowledge and express myself as a being woven into the energetic fabric of the natural world, and give contemporary form, as have sculptors throughout the ages, to the ancient and fundamental expression of the Living Object.