Gehard Demetz is dedicated to wood sculptures of human figures in different states of mind.
In just a few years, Gehard Demetz has risen to international prominence by applying his incredible craftsmanship as a traditional woodcarver to subjects that are new and appealing to contemporary viewers.
His sculptures of children are at the same time attractive and disquieting and rendered with an amazing perfection that is by no means rhetorical or classical. One of the most startling technical features is the construction using small woodblocks and juxtaposing finely polished parts to very rough and sketchy surfaces. This particular construction and treatment render his sculptures absolutely unique in the domain of contemporary wood sculpture and is partly responsible for the great curiosity aroused by the appearance of his work in the art world. Since his debut in 2005, Gehard Demetz has been invited by prominent galleries to exhibit in the United States, Spain, Germany, Korea. He has also produced monumental sculptures on commission for collectors around the world.
Gehard Demetz was formally trained in the tradition of religious sculpture in his hometown in the Dolomites – a centuries old craft in the region. He eventually started making his own sculptures in his spare time informed by the iconography of his trade. His sculptures use children as the main subject to investigate contemporary culture and its destructive tendency through the larger forces of war, religion, and politics.
Demetz explains his choice to use children as subjects: “My sculptures transmit the awareness of becoming adults and thus losing, as Rudolf Steiner says, their ability to be able to “hear” their unconscious. They live with the burden of guilt transmitted from generation to generation, which does not belong to them. They are children who feel sad about not being able to really be children, but who have, on the other hand, the possibility of choosing to become adults, totally independently, thus freeing themselves little by little of all the influences transmitted by their ancestors. They are witness to all the effort involved in the process of growth and development, which is achieved through individual will and concentration.”