Aphrodite Asparagus (a.k.a. “Our Lady of the Asparagus”)

In 2016, motivated by the desire to find a fitting classical centerpiece to adorn my wife’s new garden, I began researching classical sculpture related to nature’s inherent beauty. Remembering the myths of Aphrodite and her Roman counterpart, Venus, the goddess of fertility, agricultural bounty and springtime, I decided it would be appropriate to honor that spirit.

Shortly afterwards, the the goddess’s true influence presented itself. During our visit to the produce department of our local Thriftway I found a version of nature’s sculpture, neatly bundled in the vegetable displays:

Thus, I wrapped my best small rendition of the classical Venus deMilo inside a 18″ clay maquette of a sensually-sinuous bundle of asparagus. She fit nicely inside the column [ed. note: Remember that Aphrodite was the mother of Priapus]

Then, working with Classic Foundry associates Ion Onutan and Grigoriy Reva, we refined my model.

We then CAD-scanned the model and used our CNC to cut the form into industrial-grade foam a 13 foot, full-scale version. Grigoriy Reva worked the fine details of Aphrodite’s face:

We coated the foam core with clay,

textured it, and then created multiple latex and plaster molds.

Into the molds we poured 96 separate 18×18″ bronze component pieces,

and then welded them together over an internal frame

,

We “chased” the welds, and applied patina to complete the work.

In 2018, we celebrated the installation in Barbara’s garden on Maury Island with a great unveiling party.

We hope you will visit her sometime.

13 Comments

  1. Rafi Bensimone on March 19, 2022 at 8:31 am

    gar my friend it is beautiful and the thughts and planning behind is unbeliveble.love your work!!!!!!!

    • Gar on March 19, 2022 at 1:23 pm

      I appreciate that coming from a talented artist like yourself. Come visit, Rafi.

  2. Tucker Burback on March 19, 2022 at 11:58 am

    We will be over the whole month of April
    Would love to come down and see you both and how the gardens have matured
    I’ve lost all my contacts with my new phone grrrrr contact me ? Tucker Burback

  3. gar on March 19, 2022 at 1:24 pm

    Tucker, we are there on and off but you are welcome to visit even if we are off island.

  4. Jeff Gruber on March 21, 2022 at 4:48 am

    This is wonderful, Gar!

    • GarLaSalle on April 1, 2022 at 4:43 pm

      Thank you, Jeff! Hope you are doing well, ol’ friend.

  5. Karen Schnebele on March 21, 2022 at 12:48 pm

    Simply amazing! Another masterpiece. I admire your talent and intelligence and feel I don’t belong in your wheelhouse of friends. Truly, I am in awe of your art as well as your writing , and all that you have accomplished! Carry on! I am waiting for more!!

    • GarLaSalle on April 1, 2022 at 4:43 pm

      …more to come. Watch for your evite, Karen

  6. Geoff Stamper on March 21, 2022 at 8:51 pm

    Incredible in so many ways. Looking forward to the companion piece Son of the Celery.

    • GarLaSalle on April 1, 2022 at 4:42 pm

      a small contribution to green and roughage

  7. Brooks on March 30, 2022 at 11:53 am

    Its creation is as interesting as the piece. Thank you for posting this, Gar. It’s wildly imaginative, I would love to see a follow-up photo of it in the garden. Brooks

    • GarLaSalle on April 1, 2022 at 4:40 pm

      Thank you, Brooks! I will post some more pictures soon. Hope you are doing well

  8. Paul Hildebrand on April 21, 2022 at 6:20 pm

    Gar,
    Well done! Combining artistic inspiration with technological innovation produces some pretty wild and impressive results! And adorning your living space makes them all the more special! Looking forward to your next project, which I guess will not require a lengthy wait.
    Blessings to you and Barbara and your entire family.
    Paul (hilpau2)

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