He has no mentors. There is nowhere to go to learn his art. No one teaches his technique. Sculptor Bill Mack works in such a rare art form that coming up with a name to describe it has been only slightly less arduous than creating the art itself.
"Calling my artwork bas-relief," Mack says, "is incorrect since bas-relief technically refers to low relief sculpture. My art, in fact, has more physical depth than high relief; it incorporates various elements in full-round rising toward the viewer as in my "Illusion" image where her leg leaves the background extending into space. Technically, sculptures combining various levels of relief and full-round parts are called 'Alto Relief' sculptures. A similar technique has been used on classic Roman and Greek buildings. However, until I offered my current collection of sculptures, this art form had not appeared to any extent in galleries." Combining low and high relief, incised lines, and elements in the full-round in sculpture works that are light enough to be hung on a wall, Mack directly involves the viewer in a 3-dimensional experience, both textural and tactile, that is often startling real.
"Mack's art elicits an immediate emotional response," notes one critic. "A moment in time is stopped, a familiar face revealed, the grace of a body in motion captured. The viewer becomes more than an observer; he becomes a participant in the drama unfolding before his eyes."
For over twenty years, Mack paid his dues, working mostly as a commissioned artist -- from miniature medallic works such as the Bicentennial medals for the State of Minnesota and the cities of St. Louis and Baltimore, to reliefs and full-round sculptures for corporations such as General Motors, Pillsbury, and 3M. Then, in the early 1980s, Mack made a venturous artistic move and entered the competitive gallery world with his Alto Relief' sculptures. Today, in the popular contemporary arts, he has developed a major following.
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