Client: Private Collector
Location: Baltimore, MD, United States
Completion date: 2014
Artwork budget: $650,000
Let It Go is a 6’x9′ cast sculptural monument comprised of hundreds of polished stainless steel leaves that create a human form. Leaves appear to take the form of Buddha for a moment in time before they’re swept away, depicting the ephemeral nature of human existence and our relationship with the natural world. The reflective qualities of the metal invite self-awareness, a trait highly valued in eastern thought. Immense, grounded Buddha is characterized by sinuous lines and curves, a contrast that implies strength in the face of vulnerability.
Let It Go was commissioned by a private collector whose passion for philosophy and interest in Buddhist teachings were the inspiration behind the artwork. His original request was to create a small silver Buddha for his home. However, his large garden provided a backdrop for an engaging monument of much greater scope and scale. The project evolved into a 9-foot, three-dimensional polished stainless steel sculpture of the same iconic figure.
To realize the full impact of a great shiny metal Buddha, the setting needed to have a clean, simple aesthetic. An series of substantial trees were planted along the perimeter of the garden to frame the piece. The pedestal and lighting were considered carefully to showcase the work without distraction. The completed project shows the central figure sitting contemplatively in the serene garden, looking out over the home. The tranquil setting and purposeful placement of the art was key to the success of this project, evoking feelings of peace, strength and protection as confirmed by visitors to the home and the collector himself.
The completed sculpture was the product of an extraordinary collaboration between artist and client. In my typical role as artist and project manager, I worked in regular consultation with the client, his house manager, a site construction manager, a local landscape designer and a lighting designer. In addition, the cross-country move to Baltimore, Maryland required extensive coordination with shippers and movers.
As a result of my fierce dedication to idea and design, effective communication and skilled management of logistics, Let It Go adhered to the original budget and was delivered on time, exceeding the expectations of the client.
Fabricating Let It Go was an extraordinary challenge because stainless steel does not easily pour from larger-to-small spaces in a continuous pattern. This required extensive engineering.