The Russian State Museum, St.Petersburg, Russia (1996)  
In the studio   The Russian State Museum, St.Petersburg, Russia (1996)   The Russian State Museum, St.Petersburg, Russia (1996)   Detail
The Nizhni Novgorod National Art Museum, Nizhni Novgorod, Russia (1997)   The Museum of Fine Art, Yaroslavl’, Russia (1997)   The Museum of Fine Art, Tver’, Russia (1997)  

"The Wheel" is from a series of works called "The Burden That Is Me". That series had its roots and was intermingled in my thoughts in a variety of forms after participating in a two-person exhibit with Marcel Chirnoga, a Romanian artist, in Houston in 1983. His two-dimensional imagery of biomorphic beasts of burden was a metaphor for his people under communism. It fixed in my memory, and launched my desire to follow my own ideas into a sculptural expression with a parallel theme. I had no idea at that time what was to transpire within ten years.

The central image of my series was a stylized bull towing a large wheel. Initially, it took form in pencil sketches, prior to moving to Russia. It was my initial response to the fall of numerous communist regimes in the late 80s and early 90s. In May 1993, after the move to Moscow, the image manifested in sculptural form, then paintings and more sculpture throughout 1994 and 1995. In early 1996 the culmination of the series was completed for my exhibit at the Russian State Museum in St. Petersburg, "The Wheel". This piece and the total of "The Burden That is Me" series represented my personal difficulties in adapting to my new life and more importantly it speaks of the many problems transition has placed on Russian society as a whole.

At this writing progress is everywhere in Moscow; although much work still needs to be done.

"The Burden's" reflects the vulnerability and the weight that the on-going change has on this ancient country and her people. It is my burden to express what I know and the viewer's burden to understand the human predicament. Ultimately, it is my goal to take my fortune in lessons from Russia; and share those lessons about a situation that has become a part of my heart.

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© 2004. Frank Williams. All Rights Reserved.