Hollywood Sentinel: That interesting,
that’s very cool.
Victor Issa: I also look for models that are looking to create something powerful, really unique, and beautiful, and is really enthusiastic about the whole process, rather than someone that just looks pretty. And a lot of them look great but if their spirit is not with me in the studio and present in the pose itself – sometimes actually it is more of an acting job than just standing there, then I get bored and so will the piece get bored – become boring as well.
Hollywood Sentinel: That makes sense.
Victor Issa: One thing I wanted to clarify is I don’t use models, I work with models, and I became aware of that distinction about ten years ago, because we use tools that are inanimate, and completely use them and control them and have them do what we want them to do, but models are living beings with heart and soul, and it would be to my benefit to work with that rather than inflict my will on it, and so my models become really valuable partners.
Hollywood Sentinel: That’s great, I really like that. That makes sense. You said something about the word spirit, and I want to talk about the word in relation to your work for a moment. I think that with your work you really kind of immortalize these people. I’m looking at an image here you did of a bust, and what I am thinking is that when these people are no longer here on this Earth, that will always exist.
Victor Issa: That’s part of the hope and objective…
Hollywood Sentinel: And that’s really incredible. And you obviously are creating that legacy as an artist with your work itself, but you are going even further and extending that legacy to other people, and I think that’s really powerful. Can you tell me a bit about that, and how you work with that knowledge, because that is a very powerful thing to do…
Victor Issa: When I am doing a sculpture, my process involves a serious attempt to get to know the person on a personal level, and although I’ve been able to successfully portray people from a handful of photographs - particular if they have been a historical figure, and you know, they have passed away a long time ago – my preference for creating an ideal portrait is to work from life and spend time in their own environment, and get to know them in their own environment, and I don’t know exactly what process that entails, but some part of them becomes some part of me, and I definitely incorporate that in the work, and when I am working on it. I think about what they are thinking, and what they are feeling, and reflecting on their life and try to imbue the sculpture with those characteristics and with those traits.
Hollywood Sentinel: I have noticed you have done a lot of religious themed work. Is that something that has been conscious for you, or that has just come to you as a fluke or such?
Victor Issa: I am a man of faith myself. I am a Christian, and my faith plays a big role in my work, and one way that it does is that I look at the human form from reverence, from a perspective of an intelligent design, a Creator who designed this… functional as well as aesthetic – created with heart and with soul. That’s really my biggest source of inspiration is the human form, and if I approach it from the perspective of a Creator who designed it for a purpose, it opens it all kinds of avenues for me to address, and so through my existing circles of contacts, I was asked to submit my proposal for a hospital – at a Christian hospital in the Denver area, and the result of that was the sculpture called ‘Eden Restored,’ which is what the video is about, and that particular piece has been sold and received so well at hospitals by patients and medical staff and others who have commented on it, so as a result numerous other venues have gotten in touch with me to commission similar works. I do enjoy portraying uplifting themes, and our spiritual life is a part of that.
© 2011, The Hollywood Sentinel