Angels on the Battlefield
The sculpture below speaks to my heart. I’ve never even seen the finished piece but I don’t need to. It already says everything just as it is. This was a work in progress in 2014 and from what I understand it was being created for an art show. I can’t imagine it didn’t win first prize.
If I was an artist, this is a piece I’d want to create…
Description from the sculptor, Larry Binkowski
Angels on the Battlefield is a memorial sculpture created both as a tribute and a reminder of the sacrifices made by the nation’s fallen war heroes. The sculpture features a lone modern day warrior mortally wounded in battle. The figure of the soldier is symbolic of all the service branches of the military, both men and women. The soldier is faithfully watched over by an angelic figure, a somber look graces her face as she gazes down at her newly acquired charge. Her wings shelter him as her hands reach out as if to protect him from further harm. The heavenly guardian comforts and cares for the soldier as would all of those that will now be touched by his departure. The pictures are of the work in progress. The sculpture will be finished in cast stone. The following inscription will be engraved on the front. “When the brutality of war has ended and the cool chill of darkness steals your last remaining breath away, may you find the comfort and compassion of your loved ones in the warm embrace of angels”
(Larry Binkowski is a primarily a self taught sculptor from Auburn Hills, Michigan. He started his sculpture career as a figurative and portrait sculptor with commissions coming from both the public and private sector).
People often ask me how I started on this fitness journey of mine. One of the first influences I can remember came from an unlikely place. When I was a teenager I was a voracious reader. I read anything and everything but I loved adventure novels the best. One day while thumbing through the paperbacks at a local bookstore I found the Conan the Barbarian series. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the novels but it was the artwork on the covers that stayed with me and moved me in the direction of sculpting my body using weights. The cover illustrations on the books in the series were created by an artist named Boris Vallejo. It was the first time I saw any of his work but certainly not the last.
As compelling as the paintings of his male figures were, it was the images of the women in his art that captured my imagination.
The women were beautiful to me. They were curvaceous, strong, muscular and incredibly attractive. At the time I had no idea how to get from the tiny 94lb person I was to anything close to what those women represented but I knew without a doubt that it was a look I loved. I didn’t have any real women in my life who remotely resembled Boris’ women but just seeing them in paintings made an indelible impression.
I recently received a note from another artist telling me that I inspired one of his pieces. His name is Jay Valintino. He’s a successful bodybuilder and an obviously talented airbrush artist.
Lucky me…I was inspired by an artist and I managed to inspire one. It’s one of those fun circle in life. It puts me in the mood to give back. To create something beautiful of my own.
Honest to goodness it gives me a happy tingle to think that a piece of art I created could inspire someone on a path to sculpting a fantastic physique. It feels good to give back!