Breckenridge sculpture finalists: Sculptor Ilan Averbuch combines the figurative and the abstract
Ryan Summerlin February 21, 2014
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The Breckenridge Public Art Commission is looking for community input on the four sculptures proposed for the roundabout in Breckenridge. To view more photos of the pieces and submit your comments, visit www.engagebreckenridge.com.
Editor’s note: This is the second of four articles about the sculptures being considered for the roundabout in Breckenridge. To read more about the artists and their work, visit www.summitdaily.com.
Sculptor Ilan Averbuch started planning his sculpture, “Dreams and Gravity,” based on the circular shape of the roundabout, a very beautiful design, he said, which looks like an eye.
“I took where the proposed sculpture will be, and I started working with that,” he said. “A circle, a roundabout, is an interesting thing. I built a sculpture that has strong two views, frontal view and a back view. There is a cathartic element that happens as you move along the sculpture. It moves from a very figurative work to very abstract.”
The figurative part of the sculpture is two heads that are offset mirror images of each other, divided by a horizontal line of granite, which, from the front, appears to hover 10 feet in the air. The granite element is a reference to the horizon line, and the heads aren’t perfectly vertical, he said, but, rather, lean at 10 degrees.
“They are also not the same head,” Averbuch said. “One refers to a man, and one refers to a woman; a man and woman reflecting each other. … When you are moving along the sculpture and going to the back side of the sculpture, you realize those heads are not complete, just a face.”
The backsides of the heads have an appearance that the artist describes as a pod, a flower or an acorn, which connects the figure with a reference to nature. Averbuch said he also wanted to show the viewer how the whole thing is supported, through the use of a large, central element, a massive line made of steel that resembles a tree trunk and holds the stone in midair. The 20-foot-tall piece also refers to the area’s history.
“The heads are copper, so the granite, the blocks, refer to lots of mountains around you,” he said. “And the copper is from copper mines, one of the things that came from the area is the copper.
“It’s all about skiing and about nature,” Averbuch said of the town. “I also want to refer to the people of Breckenridge, this man/woman thing, but not in a traditional way. A roundabout is all about you’re turning your head, and I took that gesture of turning your head, and you have one head that stands upright and one that stands upside down.”
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