When you think of marble sculpture, the idealized nude figures of ancient Greece and Rome immediately spring to mind. Like those monuments of antiquity, Peter Glenn Oakley’s refined, hand-carved marble sculptures invite close viewing. But these are no mythological heroes or political leaders of the classical world. The artist’s humble subjects include a stack of Styrofoam takeout boxes, a Singer sewing machine, and a tower of cassette tapes. You might think of them as the silent, unsung heroes of modern life.
Oakley developed his carving skills working as a stonemason, making grave markers and memorials before turning to sculpture. In his hand, the marble sculpture becomes a solid ghost of what it represents—full of physical presence, but missing the functionality of the object. Inviting renewed attention to the things that populate the world around us, Oakley’s sculptures ask you to consider the concept of the ideal in your everyday life: what can’t you live without today, and how does it really look?