Copper in the Arts

October 2007

Capturing the Beauty of the Body in Bronze: Artist Richard MacDonald

By Donna Dvorak

Richard MacDonald Sculpture in Progress Richard MacDonald, working with gymnast model

Photograph by Parish Kohanim

One of the most cherished and collective figurative bronze sculptors, Carmel Highlands, California-based Richard MacDonald has achieved a lifetime of outstanding work. He graduated Cum Laude from the prestigious Art Center College of Design in 1971, where he received a Bachelor of Professional Arts, and went on to become self-taught in other artistic and creative areas.

In 1983, he retired from illustration to become a sculptor, his original niche calling, and he currently casts his bronze work in several U.S. foundries. Today, MacDonald's work depicts the exploration of the soul of humanity and its anthropology in stunning bronze sculptures, currently exhibited in private and public spaces around the globe. MacDonald uses life models to study the form of the body, and create his stunningly realistic depictions of the human anatomy in bronze. MacDonald also conducts yearly workshops to pass his methodology on to apprentices interested in learning his mastered technique of realistic sculpture.

"I am dedicated to creating an emotive and passionate art concentrating on the human form," declares MacDonald. "I am focused on the relationship of my art and its impact on the individual and society as a whole."

MacDonald notes that his influences include Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo, Bernini, Velasquez, El Greco, Rodin, and many more.

" Pavarotti was a great inspiration and I enjoyed spending time with him," he says. "One of the greatest compliments I received was from the great tenor. He said to me, 'Ricardo, you are the artist. Me, I have Puccini. You, you have no one."

Richard MacDonald Bust Sculpture Richard MacDonald, working with real-life model.

Photograph by Parish Kohanim

Through the years, his sculptures, paintings and drawings have won many national and international awards, and his work can be viewed at Dawson Cole Fine Art, in Carmel, Laguna Beach and Beverly Hills, as well as Collection Privee, in Miami Beach, Christopher Clark Fine Art, in San Francisco, Galerie du Soleil, in Naples, Vail Fine Art, in Vail, as well as many private collections. In 2001, MacDonald was commissioned by the Mayor's office of San Francisco to create an official bronze sculpture of Mayor Willie Brown, which was unveiled that year. Many of his sculptures are installed in California, including a recent 15-foot commission for the Pebble Beach Golf Resort to commemorate the 100th U.S. Open Championship. Currently, MacDonald is resident sculptor of the magnificent Monterra and Tehama properties in Carmel, California, an upscale community owned by in part by actor Clint Eastwood and philanthropist Roger Mills. MacDonald's one-man shows and exhibitions have been seen throughout the United States, Europe and the Orient, and he was commissioned for a Pebble Beach public works to commemorate the millennium.

His past projects and monuments have included Christus Rex, St. Patrick's Episcopal Church, Atlanta, GA, in 1985, Momentum, at the U.S. Open, Pebble Beach, CA, in 2000 and his famous Flair Across America - the Gymnast, in 1996, for the Atlanta Olympics. The bronze sculpture is a beautifully balanced figure of a gymnast in perfect form leaning on a large ring/circle with one hand.

All of his work conveys a sense of joy and pays tribute to the beauty of the human figure, establishing MacDonald as one of the greatest sculptors of our time.


Richard MacDonald Studio, San Carlos, btwn 5th & 6th, Carmel, California, (831) 624-8200

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