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Artwork of Harry McDaniel

You will find a diverse range of artwork here; from abstract, decorative sculptures and mobiles to figurative pieces and anthropological reflections on American culture. In recent years, my primary focus has been outdoor sculptures in aluminum, steel, and reinforced cement.  Many of those pieces have been commissioned as public art projects.

If this is your first visit, start with the Artwork page. It will give you a quick visual overview of my work. From there, you can proceed to the type of work that interests you most. There are over 100 pages of individual works. If you would like a more conceptual overview, read my Artist's Statement below. Have fun exploring!

Please bookmark this page and check back to see my latest work. If you would like to receive e-mails informing you of updates a few times per year, just send an e-mail to me saying "send updates".

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Recent Work--To see the full range of my work, go to Artwork.

2/10/14
Update:

A Refusal to Stop and Ask for Directions
Outdoor aluminum sculpture

 
9/25/13
Update:

Faun Dance
My first bronze sculpture

 
9/18/13
Update:

Snake Eyes
Aluminum wall sculpture

 
3/27/13
Update:

Flourish
Kinetic sculpture commissioned for the Rockville Senior Center in Rockville, MD.  See video.

 
4/21/12
Update:

Beacons
Three wind-powered kinetic sculptures commissioned for Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, FL

 
10/20/11
Update:

Cormorant
Commissioned by Valdosta State University, in Valdosta Georgia, to be placed in front of their fine arts building

 
7/21/11
Update:

A Flower for Giving
Commissioned as a gift for Lenoir Memorial Hospital in Kinston, NC

 
5/8/11
Update:

Odd Bird
In March, as I prepared for my exhibition at the Community Council for the Arts in Kinston, NC, I made these four whimsical wall pieces.  In contrast to most of my work, which is thoroughly designed before I begin fabrication, these pieces were begun by welding two pieces together in an interesting arrangement, then allowing the arrangement to suggest the next piece.  As you might guess from the titles, I had fun.

  

Fat Cat

 

Dog Breath

 

Funny Bunny .

 
11/8/10
Update:

Ghillie Dhu's Enchantment
Large-scale kinetic sculpture commissioned for City of Gastonia, NC
See the video!

 

 


Artist's Statement

My artwork is diverse in materials, style, technique, and content. It is difficult to explain the diversity, except to say that I love to experiment and I am drawn to new challenges. I work with wood, metals, cement, plastics, and found objects. Some of the threads that tie my work together are humor, a fascination with curves, motion (or implied motion), and an interest in the human condition. My sculptures can roughly be divided into two parts--decorative works and social commentary.

My decorative works include freestanding sculptures (indoor and outdoor), wall pieces, and mobiles. They range in size from tabletop pieces to a 200' long outdoor sculpture installation. These works tend to be curvy, abstract, distorted geometric forms. Most embody a strong sense of motion. I am intrigued by motion or, more accurately, the paths taken by objects in motion. I love to let my eyes trace the path of a bird swooping through the air or a fish gliding through water. Many of my sculptures are like 3-D snapshots of such motions.

While most of my decorative pieces contain aspects of implied motion, the mobiles are literally in motion. The delicate balance and subtle, graceful, gliding motions of mobiles have intrigued me since I was a child. As a sculptor I appreciate the ever-changing shapes and intersections of lines.

My works of social commentary include the American Artifacts series, figurative pieces, and other works. These pieces often include an element of humor. The materials are often related to the meaning of the pieces. Some pieces are based in my personal experiences and struggles; others are derived from my observations and understandings of the world around me.

The series American Artifacts is a group of mixed-media sculptures accompanied by text. The work is created and presented in a form that simulates an exhibit in a natural history museum. At first glance, the sculptures appear to be artifacts from some foreign or primitive culture, but on closer inspection one finds that the "artifacts" are derived from objects common to modern life in the United States. The accompanying text describes the objects in a style reminiscent of the descriptions one might find in a natural history museum beside stone axes and broken ceramic figurines, yet it refers to our own culture.

A significant amount of my artwork has included the human figure in one form or another. My work has included life-size figures, portions of figures, and installations using mannequins. I find something particularly compelling in life-size human figures. They tend to create a strong presence in a room regardless of the style or material. We are "programmed" (psychologically if not biologically) to relate to the human form in certain ways. When a viewer encounters a figurative sculpture he brings a certain familiarity which at least for a moment, allows him to feel a likeness to the sculpture. The viewer also feels his difference of course, and from this contradiction he must draw some meaning.

In all of my work, whether decorative or provocative, I aim to offer viewers a new perspective.

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