Duane Hanson Essay

This essay has a total of 231 words and 2 pages.

Duane Hanson


Duane Hanson and His Works

A traditional model for sculptors have been human figures. These figures would glamourize,
and epitomize physical beauty. Duane Hanson (1925-1996) chooses to do otherwise. He
depicts contemporary American people in his work. His highly realistic figures mirrors the
grotesque, the mundane, the monotonous, and the vulgarity characterized by American
society.

To create his realistic figures, Hanson first has his model shaved of body hair. Vaseline
is then applied; a silicone rubber mold over that. The rubber takes five to ten minutes to
hold up, and after that, plaster, reinforced with hemp fibers, are applied. The plaster is
removed and repaired so that polyvinyl acetate (mixed with oils paints and paraffin in
order to produce a flesh-like and flexible surface) can be poured into the plaster mold.
The vinyl dries overnight and when the plaster is taken off, a highly detailed model (of a
leg, for example) is created. The body parts are glued together with hot vinyl and
imperfections repaired with a soldering iron, small files, and sandpaper. Detailed color
on the flesh is painted on with an airbrush and oil paint. Wigs are generally used because
the vinyl is flexible enough for human or synthetic hairs to be poked into. This gives the
scalp, or any other part of body which produces hair, an illusion of able hair growth.

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