Thomas Alex Osika
The sculptures of Thomas Osika are in private collections that include; Unilever Lever House NYC, Bridgeport Hospital, Charles Benenson Sculpture Garden, Fodera Fine Art Conservation of NYC and The Denis Nayden Collection.
I apprenticed to renown sculptor Frederick Shrady for many years, which gave me an invaluable knowledge of the process of sculpture but also the spirit behind creating a great work of art.
My first memory of sculpting was when I was about 5 years old and used my dad’s wood chisel and a little hammer to carve scenes on bricks. I then sat on the curb trying to sell them for 5 cents each and quickly found that lemonade was more popular! I also grew up splitting wood and that’s probably why it is one of my favorite mediums to begin my sculptures in. My dad wasn’t an artist but we constantly cut and split wood to heat our home. It was all done with hammers, axes and wedges and I enjoyed all of it; The unique smell of each type of wood, the grain and the challenge of the process. Later I discovered bronze and found it to be the perfect medium to enlarge my wood carvings into towering figures enriched with their own sense of presence, their own life. Bronze has a rich warm surface and there is a primal creative force involved in the process of pouring the molten metal.
My sculpture has always been about integration between man and nature-spirit and form. Most of my work is carved in wood as I find wood to have a visual richness as well as the vibrancy of organic growth. These carvings are then used as a basis for enlargement into either stone or bronze. The actual process of creating a work is often a struggle, not only with the materials but often the internal pressure in trying to create an ideal relationship of shape, form and balance. Many pieces are never realized or I destroy them in this quest. Yet that is also the part of the process and journey to get to the point I where consider a sculpture successful. Somebody asked me recently to describe in just one sentence; What is my goal in creating a work of art? I could write a book on this but what immediately came to mind and maybe the best way for me to express it is: “To provide a tangible object to allow us to dream”.