Here's the first finished casting of The Grenadier. The sculpture is based on a photograph I took of a Lance Corporal Turchich during Operation Steel Curtain in November of 2005. The piece was created using a technique called ecorche. I built a wire armature, added the bones and then the muscles with plasticine clay to create a flayed man. The flayed man was then wrapped in a skin of plaster of paris cloth. The resulting naked figure was then fully fleshed out and geared up using sculptor's wax. Once this was all complete and the figure married to a small vinyette depicting a blasted concrete pillar, the foundry cast a series of molds. These molds were then used to produce a series of hollow waxes. Each wax was then re-tooled by me to bring back or add details. Finally, the waxes were prepped for and underwent the "lost wax" bronze casting process. And, viola, you have the first version of this, my third attempt at sculpture.
The figure is shown with a pomegranate in his right hand and his helmet in his left. Across his chest an M-16 rifle with an M204 grenade launcher hangs on a three point sling. On his back hangs an AT-4 rocket. At the grenadier's feet lies a branch blasted off a pomegranate tree and scattered leaves, and spent rifle and grenade casings.
The word for grenade originated from the word for pomegranate. The gardens in Iraq and Afghanistan are always filled with them.