Known for his compelling juxtapositions of opposites reflecting an underlying thematic preoccupation with ecocentrism and its inherent correlation to advanced human potential, Metrov’s paintings, sculpture, and films reside in collections worldwide.
Born in East Los Angeles, Metrov began his professional life in New York City in 1970 working as a designer/illustrator for world-renowned Push Pin Studios, then as a Fine Arts painter in a loft studio across the street from Andy Warhol’s Factory. He studied painting with Gilbert Stone, a Prix di Rome Scholar, whose mentor was the late, great Gregory Gillespie. Having exhibited in NYC & Los Angeles, Metrov’s paintings currently reside in numerous collections worldwide. Patterson Sims (former curator New York Whitney Museum), Mick Jagger, Bianca Jagger, Keith Richards, Ben Vereen, Robert Zemeckis, and Margaux Hemingway are a few of the aficionados who have collected his work. He left his mark on America’s 1970’s sub-culture as Tony Coca-Cola, singer/guitarist of the Roosters—first country-punk band in the world. After ten years, he added motion pictures to his repertoire when he realized films had the potential to be paintings that moved and made sound. Following an extensive stint in the film business, writing (screenplays & novels), directing, producing—the whole time continuing to paint, exhibit, and produce art videos—he is now fully focused on painting and sculpture. His main influences are Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Walt Disney, Pablo Picasso, Chuck Close, Gregory Gillespie, Jim Nutt, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, and Frank Stella.
The introduction of new casting technologies led me on quite an adventure this last year. Basically, it was supposed to go something like this: 1) Use a 3D modeling program to create a digital sculpture. 2) Email the digital file to a foundry. 3) Foundry makes a 3D print. 4) From the 3D print, they make a mold. 5) From the mold, they cast the sculpture in bronze. 6) Add patinas to bronze. 7) The bronze is mounted on a marble stand. 8) Foundry ships finished piece to my studio in U.S. The real adventure, however, happened between the lines.
STEP ONE: CREATE 3D MODEL
Below: image of PAX: BEAR GODDESS (with foundry notes), rendered from Blender, an open source, 3D modeling and animation program. It took me a few years to master Blender… the basics, anyway. It’s a fully comprehensive program which includes all the myriad controls of the high end paid versions.
STEP TWO: EMAIL DIGITAL FILE TO FOUNDRY
Sounds simple, but first I had to hire a professional 3D modeler to prepare my digital file for 3D printing. Besides modeling the figure, it has to be specially configured to enable 3D printing—technical stuff I’ve yet to learn (read: don’t want to learn… ugh). Also, the file had to go to a foundry in China as their prices are a fraction of what the cost would be in the U.S. Some places in China are not email friendly, and so emails have to be sent through special servers, otherwise they may be intercepted by secret police… or spies… or something. Anyway, the email finally arrived at the foundry.
STEP THREE: FOUNDRY MAKES 3D PRINT
This step was happily straightforward. My well-prepared file printed without issues. Below: image of the 3D print.
STEP FOUR: FOUNDRY MAKES MOLD
Again, this step was pretty straightforward. Or at least, I didn’t hear of any issues.
STEP FIVE: CAST SCULPTURE IN BRONZE
Casting went well… after all, this is what foundries, do, right?
STEP SIX: ADD PATINAS TO BRONZE
This is where the headaches began. This particular sculpture requires a two-tone patina as seen in the first rendering above. Most of the patina is the traditional bronze color that covers the body and ears, but the head and ear holes must be black. After numerous attempts (and photos back and forth showing where corrections must be made, etc), the artisans at the foundry were simply unable to create the patina as indicated. When they tried to fix it, they only made things worse. Exasperated, I finally instructed them to remove the patina completely and send it without a finish. (see 3rd shot below).
STEP SEVEN: MOUNT BRONZE ON MARBLE STAND
The first marble base made by the foundry was nothing like the one I designed in my rendering. When I pointed this out to them (based on the photo they sent), they readily had another one made. Second time they got it right.
STEP EIGHT: SHIP FINISHED PIECE
The work in the image above is what arrived from China. I was pretty excited to receive my sculpture at last… it took almost eight months from the time I’d emailed the 3D digital file to get the final statue. It wouldn’t normally take this long, of course, but the patina phase became a nightmare that no one anticipated. It was my fault, actually, as I failed, in the very beginning, to ask the foundry to show me a similar two-tone patina sculpture they’d done in the past.
So, I now had to have the patina applied. Since this part of the operation requires a heat or welding torch, and because I’d never applied patina before, I went to a local foundry to have it done.
The local foundry is well established: Artisan Bronze in Oxnard, California. Because of the headaches working with China, I decided to have a mold made from the bronze so I could have Artisan Bronze make copies in the future. Because the 3D print is not required to make bronze copies, the cost is considerably reduced. Robert, the owner, agreed, but the marble base had to be removed to make the mold. Robert warned me it could break when trying to remove it…. which, in fact, it summarily did.
Robert added both colors of the patina, but the blacks did not turn out nearly black enough. I learned that it’s not possible to get a true black patina. The black would have to be painted on.
First, though, I had to replace the marble base. Robert recommended a place he works with in Los Angeles: Imported Onyx. He actually drove my base down to them, and left it for replication. When I called to pick the new base, there was no answer… for almost two weeks.
Meanwhile, I had posted the 3D rendering of the statue on Indiewalls, a website where artists can submit their work for various commercial and private needs, i.e. restaurants, hotels, homes, and so forth. A client actually purchased the statue based on the rendering, and needed it shipped to New York right away!
I found another base factory on the East Coast, and was about to place an order when, Victor, owner of Imported Onyx called and apologized as he’d been waylaid by surgery. At any rate, he turned out to be a great guy, and fabricated a new base in one day. I raced down from Santa Barbara to pick it up.
Having the mounted statue back in my studio, I had to apply the final black paint for the head and ear holes. I painstakingly masked off the bronze areas and applied the paint on Friday. Saturday was spent photographing and making video of the final work. Sunday, I prepared the packing crate. Monday, I ordered a plaque with title of piece and my name. Monday night, packed the work. Tues morning, drove the crate to FEDEX and had it shipped to NYC!
Since this version of PAX is a limited edition of 25, I only have to go through this 24 more times! Just kidding. Now that I’ve been through the process… and learned the potholes to avoid… it should be a snap making the other editions. At any rate, keep your fingers crossed for me.
MYTH OF PAX: BEAR GODDESS
In this epic, narrative installation series, Pax, the ancient Roman goddess of peace, Spring, and re-birth, returns to us as the spirit of a Mother Bear. The Pax project signals the arrival of a new global consciousness; a harmonious shift between the balance of patriarchal and matriarchal forces governing our planet.
I’m honored and humbled to share my essay, recently published on www.InspireMeToday.com:
Time is an illusion. The past is not real, only a memory. So, too, the future… merely speculation. The only time that’s real is NOW. That’s why the only time I’m truly able to connect to Higher Intelligence (Higher Self, Tao, God, Universe, whatever you call It) is NOW. I need that connection, that guidance, in order to live life to the fullest… in order to achieve my dreams.
When I know what I want in life, the Universe (or the conscious totality of everything that exists)… continuously reveals the path to my dreams. Why? Because I’m here to experience Life from my unique perspective on behalf of the Universe. Why? Because the Universe is inclined to expand, and my experience causes expansion… or growth of consciousness.
As long as I don’t botch things up with worry and doubt, everything that comes my way is another sign post guiding me to my goal. If you’ve discovered your Life’s Mission, focus only on that. If not, surrender… the Universe will whisper back your own forgotten ideals. Guidance comes in the form of intuition, a feeling, sometimes a voice in my head. But I can’t hear this voice if my mind is busy analyzing scenario after scenario… what ifs… fears. Let them go. How?
- Simply STOP THINKING about those things.
- Follow the guidance that comes from living in the NOW.
- Develop a sense of invincible Faith, that no matter what comes your way—as unrelated as it may sometimes seem—it is another stepping stone toward realizing your dreams.
- Accept everything. Resist nothing.
- Realize you have the choice to be joyous or fearful.
Here’s a simple, but powerful tool… put a smile on your face. Inhale to the count of three. Keep smiling! Exhale to the count of five. Whenever you find your mind drifting into negative territory (i.e. focusing on the problem instead of the solution; fear instead of love), do this exercise three times in a row. You will restore your sense of well-being, and be back in the moment. Do this as often as necessary throughout the day.
We live in a deeply interconnected Universe. Everything orbits around and around—stars, planets, blood cells, atoms… the thoughts broadcasting from my head and heart. The vibrational frequency I send out is the same frequency that comes back to me. Send out good vibrations! Make it habit.
Stay feeling good, and in the moment as much as possible. Stop judging what’s good or bad; allow your wholeness. Like weeding a garden, work on uprooting repressed negative beliefs and emotions. Find something to be grateful for (and if you look, you’ll find an endless supply), and be joyous for your good fortune. Even if you think the world is falling apart around you, there is still always something to be grateful for. Let go of fear and illusion. Embrace the Divine Now. Live it. Trust it. Share your good vibrations with ALL, and you will fulfill your maximum potential.
My PAX: BEAR GODDESS sculpture is being cast in bronze, and will be available this Winter in a Special Limted Edition of only 10. This magnificent creation stands 24″ tall and is mounted on a gorgeous, black marble base. Contact me now to learn more and get on the waiting list.
I’m dreaming of Giant Art Bots… though these are fabricated from aluminum, I’m currently constructing prototypes from wood, paint, stickers, photos, nuts & bolts… !
• If you believe We the People, should Protect our Planet, READ ON…
• If you believe Corporations should Stay out of Government, READ ON…
• If you believe Art can Make a Difference, READ ON!
As we all know, today virtually ANYTHING may be labelled “art.” In the last few decades, the (academic) purpose of Contemporary Art has been to continuously redefine the meaning of art. It goes something like this: Find a thing (or a combination of things) that has yet to be called art, then call it art, and it will be art. The problem is, if ANYTHING can be called art, then ultimately NOTHING is art. No one really likes what art has become, yet we collect and worship it because of its status and money connotations. Historically, art possessed some aesthetic value. Today, according to academia, art requires none. In fact, the more ridiculous an object or concept, the more likely some ambitious MFA will decide to label it “art,” and only the most prominent galleries and museums will be eager to show it. This may actually sometimes work… the juxtaposition of silliness in a sophisticated, high-tech, ultra-rich environment can be effective. But where is this leading us?
If we look at the reactionary nature of Contemporary Art over time, we see that ideals or schools inevitably caused their opposites to arise. Abstract Expressionism gave rise to POP, which gave rise to Photorealism, which gave rise to Bad Art, which gave rise to Neoclassicism which gave rise to Minimalism, etc. Okay, fine… let’s do it. Let’s explore the myriad possibilities… let’s exhaust them. Then, and only then, will we be forced to return to some kind of aesthetic. Because, after all, that’s the point. Aesthetic value is what pleases, what inspires, what expands consciousness the most. And that, folks, is why we are here on Planet Earth.
I often wonder what humans a few hundred or even thousand years from now may think of us when they examine some of today’s art. Are they going to think most of us we were utter cretins without a nit of taste. So what do we do?
Personally, I’m an advocate for a New Renaissance; the return of the epic, the glorious, the awe-inspiring, the divine. If artists can create a divinely inspired works of art, then perhaps we will have left some value for the world. I would like future generations to look back, and marvel at the majesty of nature we were able to capture… like the Great Pyramid, or David, or the Pieta, or Picasso’s “Weeping Woman.” Armageddon is not upon us. Rebirth is upon us. We are about to enter a Golden Age. It’s terribly exciting, and makes me proud to have existed during this marvelous era.