Kristan Marvell is a Los Angeles-based artist who has exhibited his sculptures in the United States and internationally. Working in both bronze and mixed media
his sculptures have been shown at such venues as Shoshona Wayne Gallery, Santa
Monica, CA, Denis Ochi Fine Arts, Ketchum, ID, and Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago, Il,
while his large-scale bronzes are included in public spaces such as City of Hope, Duarte,
CA, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens, Claremont, CA and Vibrato Grill and Jazz
Club, Beverly Hills, CA. Upcoming shows include Commonwealth and Council, Los
Angeles, CA; Brand Library and Cultural Center, Glendale, CA; and Andlab Gallery, Los
Marvell has B. of S. degrees in Biology and Political Science, and a M.F.A. from
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL.
I am a sculptor and mostly I carve. Thirty years ago I discovered the use of electrically
heated wires or “hot wires” and since then, hot wires of various lengths have been my
primary tools, and my chosen material, Styrofoam.
The aftermath of modernism, abstraction as a universal system of technical control, the
recognition of recurring forms as derived from nature, is what influences my work, as
well as, the way only sculpture can allow for a different type of remembrance as it fully
occupies three-dimensional space. My abstract, sculptural forms are about motion,
gesture, and time, and often seen as tectonic and geological, but its strengths lie in the
contrast between the power of the tectonic and the soft sometime figurative gestures. The
form evolves as the wire is pulled and orchestrated through massive blocks of white
Styrofoam. This method allows for the improvisational and active removal of material
and enables me to pioneer what I call spontaneous carving. Historically, carving has
never been a spontaneous event, but a laborious chip, chip, chipping process; in contrast
this carving technique allows me to simultaneously sculpt both the positive and negative
forms, becoming a fluid, gestural, expression.