Motivated by his study of human anatomy and movement, Jack Howard-Potter works with steel to create large-scale figurative sculptures. His work has been on display throughout the world in outdoor sculpture parks, galleries and public art exhibitions.
Howard-Potter grew up in New York City where he was inspired by the public sculpture of Alexander Calder, George Ricky and various performance, dance, and artistic exposure. He earned a BA in Art History and Sculpture from Union College and has been making and displaying his original sculpture since 1997.
After college, Howard-Potter moved to Colorado and worked with a blacksmith creating furniture and learning about the properties of steel, the medium that he would eventually use to create his art. Howard-Potter also gained the skills to convey a heightened sense of fluidity in solid steel while learning about the commercial practices of metalworking.
In 2001 Jack enrolled in anatomy and drawing classes at the Art Students League in New York City to further his skills as a figurative artist and understand how the human form works and moves. Famed artist and instructor at the League for 40 years, Anthony Palumbo, selected Howard-Potter to work as his assistant and eventually became his mentor. For two years Jack immersed himself in the human form, sketching five days each week and completing thousands of drawings. It was this practice that gave him the in-depth knowledge of human anatomy that can be seen in his work today.
In 2005 Howard-Potter made his largest and most daring sculpture to date, The Muse. Standing 27 feet tall the monumental figure of a female form taking to the sky, made out of almost two thousand pounds of steel covered in a galvanized and powder coated silver skin took 4 months to complete and representing a major success in Mr. Howard-Potter’s career.
Jack has permanent and long-term displays in sculpture parks, municipalities and galleries across the country including Marco Island and Coral Springs, Florida; San Antonio, Texas; Pemberton, New Jersey; Salem, New York; Jackson, Tennessee; Glenwood Springs, Colorado; Flossmoor, Illinois and Blaine, Washington.
Howard-Potter resides in New York City with his wife, Erica, daughter, Skylar and son, Lyndon. He is a member of the Young Executive Board of the Elisa Monte Dance Company where he sketches rehearsals and draws inspiration from the dancers. He is an active athlete and cyclist competing in multiple races each year.
I try to capture movement in a medium that does not move. Using steel which is an inherently rigid material I work to convey a sense of fluid action in space. My work explores the wide range of movement of the human figure informed through my study of drawing the human anatomy. My sculptures seek to convey the motion of the body in extremely stressful and beautiful positions; the moment that a dancer is at the peak of a jump, the weightless split second before a body succumbs to gravity. I am describing an ephemeral action in steel to convey this moment for eternity. I want the viewer to visualize the actions that led up to a given pose and the actions that will follow it. Using the brightly colored surfaces separates the figures from the landscape, making them stand out in much the same way people do when they wear clothes. The brilliant colors serve as protection for the steel from the corrosive outdoor environment as well as adding excitement to the steel to aid in the sense of movement. The work explores the range of possibilities and flexibility of the material as well as the subject matter. The display of my work in the outdoor public arena is the perfect place for the inherent academic roots to be brought to every person in an easily recognizable and accessible way, bridging the gap between the intimidating gallery or fine art institution and the general public.