When is a Horse Not a Horse? – Day 65

[Today’s featured artwork for Day 65 of the 365 Days Project is by Jenny Horstman.]

Welded horse sculpture by Jenny Horstman
“Gauge Horse” by Jenny Horstman. Photo by Jeffrey Anderson. Photo courtesy ©Jenny Horstman.

Ask any artist – a horse isn’t really a horse.

#65 – Artists speak the language of signs and symbols, form and color. It’s the Logical Mind that needs to name things because it takes everything literally.

As an artist, if I listened exclusively to the left side of my brain, I would never get beyond the raw materials in my medium, which are dried gourds. If I hold a raw gourd in my hands, my Logical Mind would say, “It’s a gourd.” And that would be that. My Artist Mind might chime in with, “…well, we could decorate it…” and I’d end up with a nicely decorated gourd.

But what if I jumped completely into my right brain where, in the absence of “naming things,” that gourd is simply a form? I could carve it, burn it, cut it and take it completely apart and reconstruct it differently and it could become anything other than what it originally was. But I would first have to let go of it being a gourd.

Jenny Horstman’s work brilliantly epitomizes how the right-brained sum of seemingly unrelated parts yields a structural whole that both sides of the brain can appreciate.

Horstman’s sculptures begin as bits of scrap metal and random pieces of discarded hardware and antique tools. Imagine, once again, if her Logical Mind came across a bicycle chain and didn’t allow her to see it serving any other purpose than powering the wheels of a bike. She’d take it to a bike shop so it could continue to be useful.

But her Artist self brings that chain into her studio and it becomes the mane of a horse.

Look closely at her work and you can make out springs and chains, nuts and bolts, hoes and hammers. Step back, and you see a horse. Observing her work is like having a ping pong ball bouncing back and forth from one side of the brain to the other.

“Transforming discarded items into new sculptural entities presents an aesthetic challenge for the viewer,” she said of her work. “The identity of the original found items disappears into the sculpture, while at the same time encouraging the observer to discover the original, familiar objects within the composition.”

So when is a horse not a horse? Ask an artist.

Welded horse sculpture by Jenny Horstman
“Wild at Heart” by Jenny Horstman. Photo courtesy ©Jenny Horstman.

Jenny Horstman’s artwork can be viewed on her Facebook page at: Jenny Horstman – Metal Sculpture

Description of the images included in this post:
Gauge Horse
Jenny Horstman, New York, USA
Metal sculpture from welded antique metal tools

Wild at Heart
Jenny Horstman, New York, USA
Metal sculpture from welded antique metal tools

The 365 Days Project

In 2012, Serena Kovalosky committed to writing an article a day for 365 days as an exploration into the lives of artists and the value of creative thinking in our society.

Experience the full evolution of the project! Click below to read the entire collection of articles.

Click to view The 365 Days Project

Click to subscribe to Artful Vagabond's Newsletter

Leave a Reply

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: