~ Frudakis ~
Two Generations of Sculpture
~ Artist Statement~
The Continuum of Artistic Training and Vision:
As a four-year graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and has studied at my father’s school for an additional four years, at the Frudakis Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, whose founder was a world-renowned sculptor, EvAngelos William Frudakis, I was fortunate to have excellent training to become a professional sculptor. My father was not only a gifted teacher but also created many beautiful works of art and monuments throughout the U.S. and internationally.
My Dad gave freely to his students the wealth of his knowledge and by studying with him, there is a unique connection with a long line of American sculptors.
From the early years of American art, PAFA being the oldest art school in the United States, to my father’s training in New York City’s in the 1930’and 40’s with teaches like Paul Manship, who created the famed Prometheus at Rockefeller Center as well as, Jo Davidson, Edward McCartan, Walker Hancock, of the Monument Men fame and Anna Hyatt Huntington, founder of the Brook Green Sculpture Gardens, S.C., I have been the recipient of over a century of artistic erudition.
My father, as well as his teachers, were America’s Classic Realist and the monument makers of the early to mid-part of the 20th century and their teachers before them are the great monument makers in the post-Civil War era, like Augustus Saint-Gaudens who created the Shaw Memorial in Washington DC and the magnificent Sherman Memorial on 5th Avenue in New York City and Daniel Chester French, who is most famous for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC and their connection with the great John Quincy Adams Ward, “who’s life marks the turning point in American sculpture”*
There is a continuum of artistic training and wisdom, that has been handed down from each generation to the next generation of American sculptors who are willing to receive it. I feel very fortunate to be a part of this artistic legacy.
I think you can always say that Classic Realism is rooted in solid artistic principles that have always been relevant. At the same time, American artists bring to Classic Realism a kind of fresh vision and creative freedom that lends certain contemporary energy. It is not some worn-out thing of yesteryear, but instead one feels the vitality in it. It's not an academic formula, but real and alive and an honest expression of today’s world.
*Quote from Brook Green Gardens, By Beatrice Gilman Proshe
Jo Davidson's Studio, circa 1940