Joe Fafard R.C.A.
Douglas Udell Gallery, Edmonton;
“Does a work become more powerful with an increase in size? Less intimate? Is a sculpture sensed with different part of our body depending on its size?” Joe Fafard asked this critical question of himself in 2002, in his notes on the work Valentina. “It seems so,” he concluded, “ The small objects are more private less shared with other. There is a “close to the face” feeling, a handheld sensation somewhat like the private silent reading of a book. It feels precious and isolated…”1
The preciousness and intimacy of Joe Fafard’s smaller works allows us to take them into our spaces in a way that the large works, especially the scale works, do not. These small edition bronzes create that sense of intimacy instantly upon encountering them. With their character, their swagger, and their playfully manipulated forms, Fafard allows us not only to bring them closer to our faces, but to see them as we might see their larger compatriots, foreshortened by distance and with a playful and quirky field of view. Their lifelike essence and the fact that they are presented to us with the clear stamp of Fafard’s aesthetic adds to their undeniable presence.