OPT Exhibition! opened last Saturday evening with a swank reception in the Mercato Marketplace. Curated by artist and art critic Veron Ennis, the groundbreaking show featured important new work by Ennis, Arturo Samaniego, Greg Biolchini, Hollis Jeffcoat and Todd Andrew Babb.
Babb is a sculptor whose work is reminiscent of Giocometti. Veron Ennis calls his twisting, stretching, gravity-defying dancers, musicians, couples and individual figures elegant. "With exaggerated positions and features," she wrote in a review for Gulfshore Life Magazine, "his carved sculptures feel energetically charged and look as if they are in constant motion."
Since Since 2007, Babb has been hard at work developing a method to create conceptual pieces that portray a deeper understanding of human nature. Like Giocometti, he uses elongation. "But Giocometti was not sculpting the human figure, but rather, the shadow that it casts," Todd differentiates. "For me, elongation is about expressing my subject' uplifting nature." In OPT terms, his goal is to expose viewers to that which is good and miraculous about people individually and the human race on a more expansive plane.
And Babb's all in when it comes to Open Positive Transference. "You can change the molecular structure of matter by being positive," Babb states without equivocation. "It goes beyond the metaphysical to scientific. Studies have shown that people can transfer positivity or negativity to water. Talking nice or mean will affect the growth rate of plants and animals. So why wouldn't an artist's emotional state at the time they make a painting or sculpture be transferred to its viewers?"
Todd uses hand carved resin on steel armature. Besides making his pieces unexpectedly light, his technique not only gives his sculptures a bronzed effect, but a wonderful patina. "Art needs to return to focusing on mastering technique," Babb contends. "Knowledge of how to use your medium only opens doors to expression."
Babb's work has been exhibited at the Patty & Jay Baker Naples Museum of Art as well as numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout Southwest Florida, including the Favorite Artists of ACT Gallery group show in 2011.