The man himself is a talented visual artist, designer, and sculptor well known for his original bendable wire and cut out paper creations. He was born in Zimbabwe, grew up in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and is currently teaching at the American International School of Cairo, Egypt. Worth also lived in San Francisco for 8 years where he started his artistic trajectory working as an actor and musician for the Santa Fe Shakespeare Festival, the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival and the California Shakespeare Theater. Despite his successful career, Gavin Worth soon realized that Shakespeare was not his real passion. He confesses that he had always felt a great fascination for drawing, painting and sculpture since he first saw Michelangelo's 'Head of Leda' in a book in the library. Nevertheless, it was not until he visited an Alexander Calder exhibit at the SFMOMA that he became particularly interested in wire sculptures.
As Gavin Worth points out, almost from the beginning he toyed with the idea of creating a 3-D effect using bendable wire. As he knew right away that he didn't want to create a very realistic depiction of a 3-D form, he thought that it would be perhaps more interesting to create an abstract, almost organic shape made of grouped wire that would become an image when viewed from the right angle. In this way, far from being static, the sculptures would obtain a remarkable plasticity.
>> By bending black wire into something resembling freestanding line drawings, I create sculptures that engage the viewer by involving them in their subtle changes. When the light in the room shifts, so does the mood of the piece. A breeze might softly move an arm for example. My wire sculptures tell stories of simple human moments: a woman adjusting her hair, a face gazing from behind tightly wrapped arms, a mother gently cradling her baby. The honest, unguarded moments are those which I find to be the most beautiful.<<
In addition to the wire sculptures, Gavin Worth has also experimented with video, spray painting and stencils. Inspired by the street art of San Francisco, there is always a bit of urban feel in the commissioned works he completes for various clients, including the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Whilst working with stencils, he eventually decided to further explore the potential of his creations: ''I was cutting stencils for a painting one day when I realized that sometimes the stencil itself is as interesting as the painting you can make with it. I decided to experiment with this idea and made some cut paper pieces''. His eye catching paper cut works are a continuation of his wire sculptures since in both cases Worth is trying to define shape by using simple materials. Furthermore, the background of his creations, a simple coloured paper or just a wall, is there to intensify the power of his minimal figures. Worth’s creations have a directness that captivates you immediately. The human body is depicted in an almost tender way and sometimes just a simple detail can transmit all the passion that his heroes feel.
Spray paint and stencil wedding portrait by Gavin Worth
Gavin Worth’s hometown, Las Cruces, is surrounded by Sierra de los Órganos, named after its similarity with a pipe organ. One cannot but think that the original inspiration of his figures is possibly hidden in the picturesque peaks of these mountains. However, one thing is for sure: Gavin Worth’s creations are here to stay. At Yatzer, we have absolutely no doubt about it!