Natural Attraction
By Chris Hofer Borror

On November 3, 2009, a remarkable BFA show called “Natural Attraction” opened in Gallery 3 in the Art Department at San Jose State University. Talented sculptor Carly Silva had a minimalistic four pieces on display, all cast aluminum, that ranged in size from three feet to six and a half feet tall. Even though there were only four pieces, this was a very big show.


Carly Silva’s untitled aluminum sculpture, 2009

What is remarkable about Carly’s pieces of sculpture is the gentle, organic nature of her forms, which have been lovingly yet playfully carved out of Styrofoam, then painted with wax, and finally cast in aluminum. Like many excellent works of sculpture, the forms beg to be touched and stroked. Just slightly evocative of human forms, these tall sparse pieces remain graceful and mysterious.

David Middlebrook, Professor of Sculpture and Associate Director of Fine Art and SJSU, has this to say about Carly and her work, ‚ÄúCarly Silva has had the good sense to explore, expand, and perfect her tremendous talent as a form-maker. Her sense of form is innate, and I have watched it evolve from her earliest attempts at small scale in ceramics. Like many artists I admire, there is no disconnect between Carly’s effervescent personality and her joyous, uplifting, delightful art. She has blessed us, as she will the artworld, for many years to come.‚Äù

Carly has been influenced by Henry Moore, Tony Cragg, and Alexander Calder, and this writer also sees the influence of Jean Arp. Carly believes that sculpture belongs outside where everyone can see it, yet we are fortunate that her show was on display in the gallery at SJSU, where those of us who were lucky enough to see it could savor and delight in Carly’s talent.

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