I approach sculpture from two different perspectives. First, I try to make each piece interesting on a purely visual level. Secondly, I attempt to use symbolism from the physical world, mythology and spiritual practices to challenge the viewer’s paradigms about our relationship to each other, to our environment and to the universe. In my opinion, the unveiling of the true Self and, consequently, nondual Spirit is the ultimate goal of art. You can substitute the word God, Tao, or whatever, for Spirit but it’s basically about the realization that “All isOne” that I’m getting at. Nondual spiritual practices suggest that anyseparation we perceive between ourselves and others or any part of the physical or spiritual realms is an illusion. I think that this is intuitively what artists are doing when they create art. It represents an attempt to go from the finite self to the timeless Self. This type of art is sometimes called transpersonal art. It occurred to me recently that what I am attempting could be called “visual koan”. The intent of a written koan is to instill the understanding that the separation between subject and object is an illusion. Some of my artwork is a visual attempt at this type of practice. Purely representational art can expand ones consciousness as well, if it captures a timeless moment because Spirit itself is timeless; meaning not time everlasting but beyond time. I believe that any art that disarms you, makes you smile, or makes you think, is successful. At the very least, most artists hope for an emotional response to their work; I love it, I hate it, it makes me feel…etc. It’s not uncommon, however, for two viewers to get radically different impressions of a work. I hope my work will inspire you in
Robert E Gigliotti was born in Utah in 1947 as the second of 5 children. His father was Italian and his mother was Scotch/Irish from the deep south. This was an interesting cultural mix for a boy growing up in a mountain state. He went to parochial school where the only path was college prep. In 1965 he headed off to the University of San Francisco for undergraduate studies, not having a clue what to take. Afterchanging his major several times Rob ended up with a BA in sociology. What do you do with a degree in sociology? You go to graduate school. So Rob drifted off to the University of Victoria to work on a masters degree. Deep inside he “knew” that he wanted to create but didn’t know what or how. Somehow Rob latched onto photography and decided to quit grad school in favor of art school. He went to Oregon State University to study photography and, with great trepidation, took a bronze sculpture class as an elective. Rob fell in love with it. He had found his path to creativity. The following year Rob transferred to the University of Oregon where, in 1976, he earned a masters degree in art education. He has been sculpting ever since and loves to create figurative bronzes with symbolic twists and turns. His art derives a lot of inspiration from mythology and various spiritual paths. He refers to some of his newest work as “visual koan” from Zen practice. Rob has 3 grown children and lives in Bow, WA.