Ian Charles Lepine seeks to present beings trapped in a crossroads of contradiction: his interest is to display creatures whose very existence negates their very existence. These are beings at war with themselves, a war where all victories cannot but prove pyrrhic.
His sculptures are frequently accompanied by a poem in either English, French, or Italian, that seeks to give word to the tragedy intrinsic to the form.
Author: Ian Charles Lepine
Technique: Ceramic clay sculpture, painted with oxides and enamel.
Ozymandias is the Greek name of Ramesses II. A monumental sculpture of his likeness arrived in London in 1821 causing great furore in the public's mind. The poet Shelley went on to write a famous sonnet about an anonymous traveller who reports having found the broken statue of the pharaoh in the desert. The poem juxtaposes the monumental glory of the work with its ruined present aspect. Two lines have become widely known: "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!".
This piece seeks to explore the aesthetics of the fragment and the concept of artificial ruins (which became an aesthetic practice in the 18th century in Europe). Special emphasis was given to the hands, visage and virile member, to highlight the 'eternal' aspect of human life and its inevitable descent into oblivion.
I read a poem in an antique hand,
That spoke and wondered at one man’s eclipse,
Recounted by a ghost in the abyss
Of human history upon this strand.
Since then, I’ve searched the history books in hope
That I might read the ruins of what was.
But after erring blind, I had to pause
At finding nought but air within my grasp.
No more is left, no visage with a sneer,
But only a memory of once ago.
The poet’s name is lost; I feel his woe,
And yet perhaps his words remain as clear.
The king, the poet, I as well, will find,
That everything we do will drown in sand.
–15 August MMXXII