Richards Poey

Eden Prairie, MN

Richards Poey

Featured Sculpture

Richards Poey - Paloma (bronze)

It isn't all that common to see figurative sculpture that showcases a specific person who is still living. Let alone one who's just past forty years old.

However, Paloma Herrera is a uniquely talented individual and most worthy of the honour bestowed so exquisitely by Richards Poey. The Eden Prairie, Minnesota sculptor dazzles with his spectacular bronze of the esteemed Argentine ballet dancer.

Herrera was a child prodigy, studying at the Minsk Ballet School as a pre-teen. She joined the American Ballet Theatre at 15 and was the principal dancer for 20 years, retiring in 2015.

Poey has captured her flexibility and athleticism superbly. Arms perfectly angled and head flung back, Poey's Paloma executes a full arabesque, en pointe. Her other foot flexes exactingly, the toe well above her head and positioned arms. Her upraised leg is held rigidly straight - displaying the muscular tonality of hip, thigh and calf - as is the supporting one.

Beautifully composed and lovingly sculpted with pink and yellow contrasts the piece is a paen to the talent of Herrera, displaying the incredible conditioning and flexibility required of world-class ballerinas and danseurs.

A famous 1997 photograph of Herrera taken by Howard Schatz, a renowned New York photographer, was the inspiration for Paloma. As Poey relates, “I found the pose was so remarkable that I could hardly believe the human body in motion could do it."

The female form, represented in dance, music and nude studies among others, figure prominently in his many figurative works. Sculptures like En Pointe, Misty (inspired by American Theatre Ballet dancer Misty Copeland) Isadora (of the iconic "Mother of Dance" Isadora Duncan) and Abbey's Gift are all ballet/dance-based while Apassionata is a stunning portraiture of the Minnesota Orchestra's bassist.

Poey's ability to sculpt splendidly accurate, exacting figurative pieces - not only the human form but animals too; penguins are a favourite - was achieved by dint of study and much practice. He has been sculpting since his retirement from the business world in 1997. His passion for sculpture had been ignited as a young boy "having marveled at the sculptural works I saw at the Met and the Museum of Modern Art growing up in New York City".

Poey studied Life Sculpture at the Minnetonka (Minnesota) Centre for the Arts with Nick Legeros, Heidi Hoy and Roger Junk. Further studies followed at the Scottsdale Artists School in Arizona under the tutelage of instructors Lincoln Fox, Stanley Bleifeld and Peter Rubino.

He also studied Anatomy at Minnesota River School of Fine Arts with Foster Willey. Additional open studies in his home state and Ohio learning Life Drawing have honed his already impressive figurative skills as well.

Poey is past president and long time newsletter editor of the Society of Minnesota Sculptors. The nearly one hundred member-strong organization offers support, encouragement and learning through workshops and technical classes.

The society highlights member works in the Gallery section of its website as well as affording them the opportunity to have their work displayed in art galleries, colleges, churches and prominent places of business throughout Minnesota.

A life-long adherent and practitioner of the arts since a youth, Poey honours one of the greatest ballerinas of the 20th century in the lovely, admiring figurative study he displays here.

Artist's Sculptures