Lifetime Dream. The Lifesize Stations of the Cross at the Cathedral Basilica of St Francis of. Assisi in Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2010. “My greatest dream has been ...
The Gib Singleton Newsletter
“I’m not decorating somebody’s living room. I’m not decorating somebody’s garden. I’m decorating somebody’s heart.”
Fulfillment of A Lifetime Dream
The Lifesize Stations of the Cross at the Cathedral Basilica of St Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2010 “My greatest dream has been to build the Stations of the Cross since I was 16 years old. And, really, even before that,” Gib says. “Something has pushed me in this direction for 70 years I guess. When I was 5 or 6 years old, I was looking for something like this to do. This is what you live for. The one thing that sort of makes sense of everything. And I think this is the one thing for me.” The 14 lifesize Stations of the Cross and John the Baptist were dedicated and blessed by Archbishop Sheehan in the Bishop Lamy Garden of the Cathedral Basilica of St Francis of Assisi on October 4. The event was attended by Gib and his family, Monsignor Jerome and some 60 priests from parishes across New Mexico. Paul and Bonnie Zueger, patrons Wayne and Diana Murdy of Denver and others from around the United States, representatives from Galerie Zuger, and dozens of supporters also turned out to share this moving event with Gib. A 50 voice choir performed as part of the ceremony.
The inspiration and support of world renowned interventional neuroradiologist, Dr. Wayne Yakes of Denver, were also essential to the completion of the Stations of the Cross project. It was Dr. Yakes who commissioned the creation of the original maquettes of the Stations, and placed the first set of those smaller pieces in the Santuario de Chimayo, a renowned pilgrimage site in northern New Mexico.
Judgment and his own Requiem. If anything, collectors and critics say, his work has taken on an even greater intensity and deeper level of emotional realism. He has also continued his western theme with a brand new piece titled “Aces and Eights”, depicting the moment before Wild Bill Hickok was gunned down in Deadwood, South Dakota.
About the Sculptures
“I know there are sculptors who would put more detail and figurative work on the Stations. But that’s not the way I do things,” Gib explains. “I do it once I get the feelings and emotions from my sculptures. There are lots of guys who would put fingernails and veins on them and so on. But that’s not my type of thing.” “I hope it comes off as really a spiritual experience for people that view them,” Gib says. “And I think it will.” Judging from the number of people in tears over Gib’s triumph and the sheer power of the figures in the Garden, Gib’s wish has been more than fulfilled. “You know, it’s not easy to see a man’s dream come true in his lifetime,” Gib says. “You kind of wonder, ‘Now what?’” But it turns out that hasn’t been a problem. Since completing his Stations, Gib has produced several amazing works, including the Death of Christ, Last
“Some people may have trouble with my depiction of the Stations, because they’re abstract. Because they’re not a ‘perfect’ image. But the fact is, nobody
knows what it really looked like. What I want is a perfect image of the emotions. Of what it felt like.”
much on Gib’s mind. But not in a fearful or morbid way. “I’m beginning to look at death in an entirely different way now,” he says. “I know it’s a cliché, and I sound like some third rate Baptist preacher, but it’s a beginning. Not an ending.”
This evocative quality, which we refer to as “emotional realism”, will help the Cathedral Basilica in Santa Fe become one of the premier pilgrimage destinations in the world. This suite of 14 Stations and John the Baptist have been loaned to the Cathedral for 25 years, courtesy of The Private Collection of Tia. A second suite of Stations has also been acquired and will be loaned to the Museum of Biblical Art in Dallas, Texas, again through the courtesy of The Private Collection of Tia. The momentum for placing Gib’s art in high visibility locations is building, as a third suite has just been acquired by a client of Masters Gallery in Denver, Colorado. The Bishop Lamy Garden at the Cathedral Basilica of St Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe – “It’s a place that encourages solitude and reflection,” Gib says. “It’s really a thought provoking little place, where you can just be with the bronzes by yourself. It’s almost like the Garden of Gethsemane when Christ knew he was going to be crucified and he knew that the Roman soldiers were coming to get him. His whole church was nothing more than a rock where he knelt down and prayed. This reminds me of that same garden. Very tight and close, and you’re waiting for something to happen.”
Requiem One of Gib’s newest and most stunning pieces is “Requiem”. Though it began with a commission from a collector who asked Gib to create his own, personal requiem, in many ways, Gib has been working toward it for years. It includes the highlights of his life, both positive and negative, including the ever present pain of losing a son and a daughter.
“Hollywood says death is a terrible thing,” Gib says, “but I don’t think so. I think we start over. It’s like going to sleep at night, and you have a dream. But you don’t wake up from that dream. You actually live that life.” “The thing I love about my work is that I get to say, ‘I love you, man. It’s going to be OK.’”
He acknowledges it’s the toughest thing he’s ever done. A requiem can be done musically, he points out. It can be done narratively. But to create it visually is an entirely different challenge.
Requiem will be cast in three sizes – approximately three feet, eight feet and 14 feet in overall height – in a very limited edition of nine of each size.
The Perfect Holiday Gift for Singleton Fans
In music and story, the listener or reader put in the visual images. But in sculpture, the artist has to put it in, and what he puts in has to “ring true” to the viewer. It has to be accessible and comprehensible to people of different cultures and values and experiences.
Running out of shopping days and wondering what to give a fine art fan on your list? How about a copy of From the Earth, a beautiful, hard cover coffee table book about Gib and his work. From the Earth includes a thorough biography and dozens of beautiful, high resolution photos of Gib’s works, as “It’s like if you do David and Goliath,” well as two DVDs about Gib’s life and Gib says. “It has to tell you about fear work, and his Stations of the Cross. and courage, and giants and slingshots – everything – because it doesn’t make $145 per copy * sense without that.” $195 per copy signed * The figure of Requiem came to Gib in a dream the night Camille, his canine companion of 13 years, died at the foot of his bed. “I saw this angel in the doorway,” he says. In his depiction, the angel has one wing grounding the figure to the earth, and one toward heaven. The chest cavity is carved out, with a hand to the heart and the soul. At age 75, dealing constantly with health issues, mortality and legacy are
Call your Singleton fine art specialist to order. * All prices include FedEx shipping. The Gib Singleton Newsletter Vo1. 1 • Issue 1 sign up to receive an electronic version of the newsletter by visiting www.gibsingleton.com