The first steps of a classical figurative sculpture is the skeleton, the bones are a natural armature. Then as the muscles are added, they bring life to the figure.
In this image, the foundational muscles of the arm, neck and chest are seen. Mike worked with concentric contraction on the muscles as it shortens to generate force to move Pre forward. At the same time, he had to sculpt the eccentric contractions movements of Pre’s muscles, sculpting the stretched tension as it decelerates a joint at the end of a movement. Pre was an exceptional runner, and Mike sculpted just enough tension in Pre’s upper body’s isometric movements to mimic the runner’s confidence and exertion.
Even as the sculpture is in its infancy, one can almost observe an intake of air in the rise of Pre’s chest. Later the sculpting of “this breath” can also be seen in his upper belly, a full deep breath as if Pre is pushing through the final curve at Hayward Field, the Bowerman Curve.
It is the nuances of the human figure, whether at rest or in action, that thrill me. To capture a single moment of Pre’s life in an enduring material such as bronze, immortalizes Pre and shares his drive and commitment with the world.