When I had the chance to study a la late gothic wood sculpture in the nearby city museum of Tübingen, I was struck by its expression and craft. The artist is unknown but the style is that from about 1500 in Southern Germany. It represents St. Sebastian without the familiar arrows, only some small holes show where they originally stuck.
I ‚ answered‘ to this awesome work in my way. The first approach was a 160cm high statue cut and bent from a large, rusty copper sheet. With drawings and watercolors I tried to get closer to a solution. Most of my time was spent to carve a sculpture from a 170 cm long, hundreds of years old oak beam.
There is one issue I remember particularly. I wanted the lower part of my sculpture somehow correspond to the pleats of the gothic original. I tried two small hooks or volutes, but they looked like bones of a soup chicken. They were removed. Maybe it had to do with the extremely slender proportion of the oak beam, that there seemed to be two human bodies. This was no problem because Sebastian was tied to a tree, but it made a second meaning come up.
Guess why in the 20th century more essays, fotos, videos, films ,paintings were published than ever before ? The answer is that after centuries of St. Sebastian as plague -saint, he was chosen by the gay community as patron. And that leads us back to the late gothic sculpture and 1500. Looking for a subject to study the ideal male body the italian renaissance- artists discovered St.Sebastian and gave him a new identity. This was the starting point for the mentioned modern worshipping.
see also Axel von Criegern, Mein Sebastian;in:Echo I. 13 Tübinger Künstler. Kunst im Dialog mit dem Stadrmuseum.2016.S. 6,7