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artist a mayan temple
artist at Xunantunich

  Justin Perlman has dedicated his life to art. At an early age, he become fascinated with how the world was constructed. The son of self-taught architect, mechanic, and artist Harry Perlman, so much of Justin’s curiosity came from his father. The biggest lesson impressed upon him was to honor craftsmanship and beauty above all. Justin holds this lesson most sacred throughout his many years of study and practice as an artist.

The pursuit of various artistic processes has taken Justin Perlman on diverse roads. From his studies in Anthropology at Hampshire College he journeyed onto taking Sculpture classes at the Art Students League of NY. From there he flew to Pietrasanta, Italy, so that he may study for a year with master artisans and sculptors in marble carving. Seeking a detailed and complex education in Sculpture, Justin returned to the USA to apprentice as a master chaser at a bronze foundry where he learned about all facets of the fine art casting process.

Currently, the Artist lives and works in Ridgefield, CT 

Through all of his travel and study, he has maintained the belief taught to him by his father, “Whatever you do, take care in it, and do it well."  A belief, that guides his hand as well as his heart.

About the process:

  The masks and other metal details in my recent work are fashioned with a technique called “repoussé”. This technique is one of the oldest metal working processes which was traditionally used for the decoration of metal vessels made from copper, or other malleable metal. This technique typically starts with either a flat sheet of metal or an already formed vessel. The image that is to be raised up (or brought into relief) is traced onto the metal surface with a small round edged chisel, thereby leaving a dented impression of the image in the metal. Next the metal is heated and slowly cooled in order to “anneal” or soften the metal for further working. This heating and cooling must be repeated dozens of times throughout the process because metals like copper become hard and brittle when hammered; therefore, the deeper the form to be relieved the more often the piece is to be annealed. After the first heating the piece is typically laid in a bowl of pitch or resin which hold the piece and provides resistance so the tools do not over stretch the metal. Using a series of small blunt chisels of custom shapes, the form in gently hammered in the reverse. Here the real difficulty lies, because throughout the process the artist must constantly flip the piece working in both the negative and positive all the time stretching the already thin metal within a few thousandths of an inch of breaking.
  Myself and many artists I know see art as a language with seemingly infinite dialects. I go farther in that as a sculptor, I see not just the vocabulary of form and color, but the very tools and materials used as part of that vocabulary. The techniques forged over countless experiments do not bind us but give us an incalculably large set of phrases to be arranged and rearranged.
  I have been working with the juxtaposition of two wholly different phrases in order to represent conflict on several layers. There is of course the conflict of materials, which for me represents the the difference between our hard (exterior) and our soft (interior) selves. There is the conflict of figurative abstraction in the stone versus the highly detailed faces in metal; again invoking the idea of something primal, or natural, versus something manufactured. There is the conflict of color used to the same affect, and finally there is the actual subject of the piece.
  We are all in some state of conflict, be it actual warfare, or day to day emotional conflict. It is often the interior conflict that gets played out on the larger stage, and there unrestrained, gains mass. Privately we seek intimacy yet publicly we celebrate grandiosity; however we have not yet resolved the two desires. One’s experience becomes another's allegory; and the artist plays a role in that transformation. There are many artists reveling in our public selves, but I find at this moment that I am speaking to our private selves, before the curtain rises; a voice diminished in the square but immutable.