Fred Whitman Sculptor
As a freshman dental student I learned that I was really good at carving teeth. Upon visiting the Chicago Institute of Art, where my mom, Nancy Whitman, studied, I saw marble figures in a whole new light. If I was good at teeth, why not the eyes, ears and nose? I knew then that someday I’d carve figures in marble. A series of injuries made contorting to work inside someone’s mouth unbearable, so it felt like the time to ride a different horse.
I took on sculpture full time in 2005 at Art City, a communal sculpture yard in Ventura. There I was able to glean technique from a dozen talented and educated artists. In 2015 I built a studio on family property in Upper Ojai, only to see it destroyed by the Thomas Fire in 2017. Between rehabilitating the property, and caring for my mother, carving stone took a back seat. Last year I was able to move into a house in Ojai and covert the garage into my studio. Sweet relief – a space where I can put on tunes and do what I love. I’m back at it, and if feels fantastic!
I am inspired by the greatest artist of all – Mother Nature. My works are an homage to her splendor and imagination. The process of revealing something beautiful that lives within a block of stone still thrills me to the core. The rocks themselves often tell me what’s inside. I simply do my best to remove the stone that obscures the image within, allowing the stone to inform me of its inhabitant along the way.
All of my work is done with traditional Italian hand-tools. It takes more time, but when you love what you’re doing….
Phone: (805) 804-7000