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Help me sculpt the largest collection of marble bones in the history of the world.
79 backers pledged $16,535 to help bring this project to life.

About

$16,535

79

My name is Stephen Shaheen, and I'm an artist living in Brooklyn, New York.  I'm working on a really exciting sculpture installation that I hope you join me in creating.

I'm carving bones out of marble.  A lot of bones.

My ultimate goal is to make a huge sculptural installation by the end of 2015.  How big?  The size of this artwork will be scaled by YOU! 

That is, for every person who donates, the installation is going to grow. Whether you want me to make a hundred or a thousand, I'm going to sculpt one marble bone for every $100 received.

There is no limit.

Vertebra, 2013, Champlain Dolomitic Limestone
Vertebra, 2013, Champlain Dolomitic Limestone

Why Bones?  Why Kickstarter?

Bones are fascinating as abstract, sculptural forms.  Yet they also contain the same calcium that forms the geologic "bones" of the earth.  Marble is literally the crystalized skeletons of ancient sea life.  Even its veining reminds me of our own physiology.  I want to offer a poetic interpretation of these complex relationships in an immense assemblage of marble bones.

I am a believer in the limitless and unforeseeable potential of collaborative art...crowd-sourced projects take on a life of their own, continually evolving through the transformative power of the collective.  Between 2002 and 2011, hundreds of helpers joined me to create a 100-ton marble and granite 9/11 memorial in Highlands, New Jersey, which was completely crowd-sourced--both in donations of materials and cash, as well as the contribution of multiple hands in the actual sculpting process.

The Memoria Project
The Memoria Project
The Memoria Project
The Memoria Project
The Memoria Project
The Memoria Project

In 2010 I made another crowd-sourced project: Metrobench, a sculptural seat made from 5,000 Metrocards, for which I enlisted the participation of dozens of people on Craigslist:

Metrobench
Metrobench

Funding

Your contributions will create this installation by paying for the project's many costs. Between buying stone, transporting it, and having the proper supplies, sculpting marble is one of the most technically involved and expensive art forms. Fortunately, I own many of the big, costly power tools needed, however a project on this scale is impossible without patronage. Each bone will average one hundred dollars to make, and the baseline for this project is 150 bones. Here’s a picture of a few...imagine what dozens--or hundreds--will look like!

Bones, 2013, marble and onyx, dimensions variable (pencil for scale)
Bones, 2013, marble and onyx, dimensions variable (pencil for scale)

Can He Do It?

I've been carving stone for fourteen years.  I trained in Italy for my first two years, and since that time have sculpted everything from monumental to miniature to multiples.  I've confronted all kinds of challenges in this technically demanding medium, and I bring to it the comfort and speed of years of experience and hundreds of sculptures under my belt.  Here are some of the works I've sculpted:

Eve, 2011, 60"x36"/150cmx90cm, limestone
Eve, 2011, 60"x36"/150cmx90cm, limestone
Stretch, 2009, Carrara Marble, 36"
Stretch, 2009, Carrara Marble, 36"
Glacier
Glacier
Glacier, 2008, Carrara marble, 13'/4m (Milan installation)
Glacier, 2008, Carrara marble, 13'/4m (Milan installation)
Glacier, 2008, Carrara Marble, 13'/4m
Glacier, 2008, Carrara Marble, 13'/4m
Compass, 2010, travertine
Compass, 2010, travertine

Andiamo!

Please consider joining me in making this project a huge success!   I'm ready to roll up my sleeves.  I know I can make a lot of bones. What I really want to know is: how many do you want me to make?

Ready!
Ready!

Risks and challenges

I know my pacing after having sculpted several initial bones, and I have clear access to materials and supplies once funding is in place. The only potential interruptions would be catastrophic (a physical injury sustained that delays my working, my studio burning down, etc.). Let's REALLY hope that none of these things come to pass!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    THANK YOU! I'll be emailing you a note of my appreciation with a digital studio photo. Every bit counts, and I am truly grateful for your support. Your name will appear in the catalog of the final installation!

    *Installation and catalog will be in 2015.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Quarter bone! I'll be sending you a digital thank you note AND a digital version of the catalog that will accompany the final installation. Your name will appear in the catalog!

    *Installation and catalog will be in 2015.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Six-tenths of a bone! You will receive an 8"x10" original studio photograph signed by me with a personal thank you note. You will also receive a digital version of the catalog to accompany the final installation. Your name will appear in the catalog!

    *Installation and catalog will be in 2015.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    CONGRATULATIONS! We've just made a BONE. As a thank you, I'll be throwing you one…literally a sculpture of a 10" bone, resin cast from an original, with a thank you note from me. You will also receive a digital version of the catalog to accompany the final installation. Your name will appear in the catalog!

    *Installation and catalog will be in 2015.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    TWO BONES! I will be sculpting two bones thanks to your generous contribution, and as a token of my appreciation, I will be sending you a unique, signed 8"x10" drawing of a bone study. It will come with a thank you note, and you will also receive a digital version of the catalog with your name inside!

    *Installation and catalog will be in 2015.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    FOUR BONES! I will be sculpting four bones thanks to your generous contribution, and as a token of my appreciation, I will be sending you a collection of FOUR resin cast bones in different colors for your own mini-installation. It will come with a hand-written thank you note, and you will also receive a digital version of the catalog with your name inside!

    *Installation and catalog will be in 2015.

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    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    For your generous contribution, I'm going to sculpt SIX bones out of MARBLE and GIVE YOU ONE. You will receive an original sculpture--a 12" marble bone--as my gratitude for your growing this project significantly. It will come with a hand-written thank you note, and you will also receive a digital version of the catalog with your name inside!

    *Installation and catalog will be in 2015.

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    Reward no longer available 6 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $800 or more About $800

    For your generous contribution, I'm going to sculpt EIGHT bones out of marble, and GIVE YOU ONE 12" BONE. Plus, you will get an original 8"x10" drawing and a signed 8"x10" studio photo. It will come with a hand-written thank you note, and you will also receive a digital version of the catalog with your name inside! *Installation and catalog will be in 2015.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,200 or more About $1,200

    Not only am I going to sculpt TWELVE BONES, but I will be inviting you for a private tour of my Brooklyn studio, where you pick out an original, marble bone sculpture up to 18" (international supporters can use Skype). You will also receive a print version of the catalog to accompany the final installation, with your name in it!

    *Installation and catalog will be in 2015.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    25 bones, and a very special reward! I will sculpt you a pink onyx bone, 18-22". Onyx with this coloration is rare, expensive, and very difficult to work, as it can easily break along its many veins unless extreme care is taken while sculpting. You will also receive a print version of the catalog to accompany the final installation, with your name in it. *Installation and catalog will be in 2015.

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    Pledge $4,000 or more About $4,000

    Lorenzo d'Medici Level Sponsorship! I will be sculpting FORTY BONES in your honor, and I will be inviting you for a private tour of my Brooklyn studio (you have to get yourself to NYC), where you pick out an original, marble bone sculpture up to 24". I will also give you an original, signed and framed 18"x24" drawing. You will also receive a print version of the catalog to accompany the final installation, with your name in it.

    *Installation and catalog will be in 2015.

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    Pledge $5,500 or more About $5,500

    Papal Sponsorship! I will be sculpting FIFTY-FIVE BONES in your honor. I will welcome you for a private studio tour (you have to get yourself to NYC) in which you pick out a bone up to 30." In addition I will give you a three hour private MARBLE SCULPTING LESSON in my studio, followed by me taking you for a drink at my favorite, local Brooklyn bar. You will also receive a print version of the catalog to accompany the final installation, with your name in it.

    *Installation and catalog will be in 2015.

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    Pledge $7,500 or more About $7,500

    SAINT'S RELIC AWARD: I will sculpt SEVENTY FIVE BONES in your honor, and one MEGABONE with your initials in it! Pick any bone in the human body (except the skull), and I will sculpt it no less than FOUR FEET (122cm) LONG, with your initials in a secret spot. Additionally, I will welcome you for a private studio tour (you have to get yourself to NYC) in which you pick out an original, marble bone sculpture up to 36" for yourself. You will receive a print version of the catalog to accompany the final installation, with your name in it. You will also receive a VIP invitation to privately preview the final exhibition.

    *Installation and catalog will be in 2015.

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Funding period

- (31 days)