Jim Rennert - Artist Feature
This week’s artist feature showcases Utah based artist Jim Rennert. After years of experience in the financial services industry, Rennert began sculpting in his free time. He quickly realized he could express himself in a more creative way than was available to him in the business world. Pulling from his experiences in the professional world and his love and participation in athletics Rennert incorporates aspects of both to create movement and meaning in his work. By fusing his concepts with a contemporary sense of design, Rennert's goal is to create works of art that speak to the contemporary business man.
Q&A with Jim Rennert
What were you doing before you become a sculptor?
Rennert: Before sculpture I was in the Financial Industry. I worked as a stock broker, and then moved into mergers and acquisitions. After selling a golf ball manufacturing company we had acquired, I had some free time. I started thinking that I loved to draw and be creative so I went to the store to buy art supplies. I purchased some modeling clay and found I could express ideas much clearer. I could make the clay perform in a way the pencil would not for me.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Rennert: Well, initially from my past experiences in business. I found myself always on the go struggling to meet deadlines and quotas, solving problems and closing deals. Now, it tends to be more current events. I think people are still struggling and dealing with making a living and all of the challenges that it entails. Markets are up and down, we have been through a tremendously challenging economy. Work is a big part of all of our lives. I find a lot of inspiration in seeing the innovation, tenacity and success people are experiencing.
Are there things about your artistic process that people wouldn’t know from looking at your work?
Rennert: I think what is different about what I do from other sculptors is that there is a strong element of design. There is the combination of traditional casting of bronze mixed with a very contemporary design elements, backdrops and environments for my figures.
Your pieces feature a lot of movement, how do you incorporate it?
Rennert: I think movement is important in my work whether psychological or physical. In my early work I was more action involved showing sports as a metaphor for business. Recently my work has more subtle as the ideas I am incorporating are more about what is happening in the mind rather than the body. I try to incorporate that movement as a compliment to the concept I am portraying. This is done by where I place the figure on the base or back drop and how the figure posed. Knowing how the body moves, knowing how the eye sees things is very important.
When patrons look at your artwork what do you hope they walk away with?
Rennert: Several things. I hope it has meaning. I hope they see a familiar concept in a way they had not thought of. That they find humor, hope, and optimism. That not only is it aesthetically pleasing but also artistic that it becomes timeless.
What is one place that you would like to see your sculpture (that isn’t already there)?
Rennert: In financial districts like New York, then in Chicago. Really any financial district in the world, because my work is about making a living. I think for me as an artist depicting our contemporary life is what I am trying to do. I am trying to depict how we spend most of our time and effort.
Is there a reason you sculptures are only of men? Why is that?
Rennert: My work is from my own perspective. When I create a piece of work I try to think of all of the different interpretations it could present. I didn’t want to mix gender issues into the message. I wanted the message to remain about business and the ideals behind business. Women are a big part of business. But if I had a piece like "Big Business" with a man and a woman, gender issues would be a part of the interpretation.
From your point of view do you see your subjects as overcoming obstacles or embracing failure?
Rennert: Definitely overcoming obstacles. I consider myself an optimistic person. I tend to have a positive attitude. In the past I have had a small percentage of people that have seen the negative perspective. When I am present and someone sees my work from a negative stand, I explain my point of view towards the optimistic interpretation.
If there was one thing that you would want people seeing your art to know about you, what would it be?
Rennert: What comes first to mind for me is that they relate to me. I am a worker. I consider myself lucky to be able to depict how life is today. That they get to know part of me within my sculpture and be able to relate to it.
To learn more about Jim Rennert visit the Cavalier Galleries from May 1, 2013 until May 31, 2013 for a special exhibition of his work.
Cavalier Galleries, Inc.
15 East 71st Street, 2A, New York, NY 10021