THE ART OF DAVE BOSSERT
It was in the late 1970’s, while still in high school, that Dave Bosset took his first college level sculpture class at C.W. Post University while growing up on New York’s Long Island. He works in clay, wax, plaster, wood, metal, and plastic; experimenting as he explored a variety of techniques and subject matter. After graduating high school and short stint at the State University of New York at Farmingdale, he headed west to attend the world-renowned California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts) in 1980 where his sculpture work took a backseat to a focus on film and animation. He studies at Cal Arts on a Walt Disney Scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the famed Character Animation program.
Bossert spent more than 30-years at The Walt Disney Studios contributing his artistic talents to such films as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Lion King, Pocahontas, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, Fantasia 2000 and the Academy-Award nominated shorts Runaway Brain, Lorenzo, and Destino. For a complete filmography of his work visit: IMDb https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0098132/
It wasn’t until the mid-1990s that Bossert started to get back to his own personal art by creating dimensional artwork again. It was during this period that he began going to mid-coast Maine each summer for a week or two, by himself, on what he has described as an “annual sabbatical” from life where he can make art without distractions. For more than three decades he has concentrated on creating wildlife sculptures and more recently woodcut prints.
Bossert has divided much of his time during these breaks in Maine between sailing, creating art, and eating seafood, which, at least to him, seems like the perfect combination! During these visits to Maine, he often takes time to wonder remote beaches collecting weathered driftwood and other found objects that ne incorporates into his art.
All the sculptures displayed here were created by Bossert using mostly hand tools; chisels, knives, spokeshaves, planes, etc. He uses basswood, which is a soft even grained wood that has a consistent density. Those properties make it a perfect wood for sculpting as it is easy to work with chisels and knives. The eyes are made of glass and most of the fins on these fish sculptures were fabricated from copper except for the larger tail fins and occasionally a dorsal fin, which are wood.
All the artistic interpretations of these sculptures are finished by hand using airbrush, sable brushes, Sharpie markers, and oil sticks. Bossert likes to use found objects in his sculptural works. Much of the driftwood, rocks, and sand he found on beaches in Maine and California. The sculptures are mounted om mahogany, which has a straight grain usually free of knots and with a warm, rich reddish-brown color. These bases have been crafted from reclaimed mahogany found at a storied boatyard in Maine.
Bossert’s woodcut prints are usually cut from linoleum blocks using a selection of specialized carving tools. He begins with an original drawing that he transfers to the block and then spray fixes for stability. Then he begins the process of cutting away the unwanted material to reveal the image to be printed. When he thinks the black is done, he will ink it up and pull several proofs. After evaluating the proofs, he will make additional modifications to his block and then pull a series of final prints.
Why fish? Simply stated, fish are a near perfect match between form and function. Bossert likes these forms because he can convey movement is the art that he creates bring an added enjoyment and experience to his art.
We hope that you have enjoyed viewing Bossert’s artwork and much as he has making them!
YELLOW FIN TROUT, Bronze edition: 25;
10” L X 6 ½” W X 7”H. Bossert cast his first bronze edition, above, at the Michael Maiden Foundry in Sandy, Oregon in 2009.
LAKE TROUT, Original sculpture,
18” L X 6” W X 6 ½”H
BROWN TROUT, Original sculpture,
22” L X 9” W X 8 ½”H
BLACK CRAPPIES, Original sculpture,
10” L X 7” W X 10 ½”H
BLUE TROUT, Original sculpture,
10” L X 7” W X 9”H
BEAR LAKE CUTTHROAT TROUT, Original sculpture, 24” L X 11” W X 11 ½”H
ATLANTIC SARDINES, Original sculpture,
18” L X 9” W X 12”H
RAINBOW TROUT, Original sculpture,
13” L X 5 ½” W X 6”H
YELLOW FIN CUTTHROAT TROUT, Original sculpture, 21” L X 8 ½” W X 7”H