Benny’s Artist Statement

For my soap sculpture project I choose to sculpt an item symbolizing my connection to my hometown, New York City. My goal was to incorporate values of home and belonging into my piece. I feel like I will always keep the values of my city close to me and think no matter where I live it will remain my home. I placed the empire state building in the palm of my hand to symbolize the place my city has in my heart. In carving the empire state building the biggest conceptual challenge I dealt with was making sure I didn’t carve away too much of the soap when showing the different levels of the building. I wanted to carve away large chunks of soap at a time in order to make my sculpture smoother and make the carving go faster. This resulted in my soap cracking or having chunks break off because i tried to rush the process. In order to get the exact cuts you want it’s imperative you go really slow when carving and shave off tiny pieces. I think my approach to carving the soap, after realizing I could only carve little pieces at a time, was very good. I marked which parts of the soap should be carved to a certain extent and tried to make sure they were carved equally on each side. My final piece is slightly lopsided, but I still think it’s fairly recognizable. If I had the chance to do it again I think I could make each side even because I learned that, when trying to carve four equal sides, what you carve away fro one side takes away from the other.