Several years ago I fell in love with a tiny Bronze Age statue of a two headed stag at the Menil Collection in Houston. It was a beautifully designed and mysterious object, and I could not get it out of my mind. I often use deer as symbols for innocence and love, and in 2019 I reinterpreted its form to show how love is always shadowed by the fear of change and loss. On one side, a stag throws its head back in distress while its dead conjoined twin, ears slack, becomes a weight it cannot escape.
Because public art is often interacted with in ways we cannot predict, the sculpture is designed with a dark patina that will gradually rub off to capture the history of being touched. It is mounted on a piece of native Iowa limestone that commemorates the changing landscape of the place where it has been installed, once at the bottom of an inland sea then a prairie and now a busy corner at 42nd Street and Ingersoll Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa.
A 20 piece edition of the maquette in bronze with a wood base is now in production.
This project was made possible by The Avenues, the Iowa Arts Council, the NEA, Bravo, and private donors.