Jud Bergeron, My Pal Foot-Foot (pile), 2013. (Mark Wolfe Contemporary)
Jud Bergeron is a sculptor based in San Francisco. He works in a variety of styles using many colourful, exciting materials but generally gravitates towards permanent materials, such as bronze and steel. His work has been exhibited throughout museums across America and continues to captivate attention from private collectors worldwide.
What is creativity to you? Being able to visually convey an idea or emotion in a succinct way that is both relatable and elegant, at least that is what I hope it is. If I’m honest it’s more like being an ant in a Lego shop – Scared, scattered, surrounded by the potential of beauty but ill equipped to build it.
Have you always been creative; was it your childhood desire to become a sculptor? Yes, always creative. According to my mother I screamed for years until someone finally put a pencil in my hand. I come from a long line of artists on my father’s side of the family, most of which were town drunks that worked for the church in New England and were paid next to nothing. My grandfather was an engraver and I have fond memories of his shop, when he passed away I inherited some of his tools, which I still use today. An amazing High School teacher taught me how to carve stone/wood and turned me onto sculpture. She changed my life.
Are there any obstacles you face in exhibiting 3D work? Other than it’s really difficult to sell and ship? No.
When did you make your first sculpture? I was probably 16. I was fascinated with Native American art at the time and I began carving these Indian women in soapstone. Pretty embarrassing really, when I look back, but ya gotta come from somewhere!
What motivates your desires to create? I approach making art like making films or writing novels. I have a story to tell and a medium in which to tell it, one informs the other. The narrative will dictate not only the style in which I work but the materials as well. For instance, I am currently working on a solo show about being a father to small children and I’m using rubber ducks cast in plastic for one piece. I’ve never used plastic before or sculpted in rubber ducks but now that my life is full of those things with my kids, it seems to have crept into my studio as well. Some people keep journals, some take pictures, I document my life with objects.
In an average day, how much of your time is dedicated to your art? In actual working hours in the studio I would say 6 hours a day 5 days a week. Then add another 10-20 hours a week for all the rest of it and you have a pretty good picture of what my week looks like.
What materials do you use? As many as I can get my hands on that are archival. I tend to steer towards permanent materials like bronze and steel; lately though I’ve been doing lots of ceramics and plastics. As long as I can clutter up this planet with my wacky ideas and they will be here for thousands of years, than I am happy.
What are you doing when you are not being creative? Spending time with my wife Samantha and my kids Fletcher and Storey, going to museums, reading comic books and laughing.