How did you receive the enormous task of sculpting a life-size vision of Batman? Was it assigned to you or did you volunteer for it?
AB: Sculpting Batman and sculpting in life-size are two things I would never turn down, and this project stood out as a great chance to have fun in both arenas. I had recently sculpted the Green Goblin Life-Size Bust, but the majority of work I do is very small and compact. And since the news broke of Sideshow receiving the DC license I had been campaigning to the creative team to be assigned something Batman. They thought this would be a good fit…or at least shut me up!
Describe the concept and inspiration behind this piece?
AB: The sculpture was based on artwork created by one of our very talented designers, Walter O’Neal. The character has such a powerfully rich visual history that there is certainly no shortage of inspiration to draw from. This piece represented an opportunity for us to bring our own style and attitude to the character. Rather than basing it on any specific comic book art or film depiction, but an amalgam of our favorite elements from the Batman mythos. I think we were able to create something unique that still had a classic, iconic feel.
AB: I’ve always sort of had a ‘vision’ for Batman in my head that I’ve wanted to bring to life in sculpture. In regards to the cowl, we wanted to capture a perfect mix of organic and hard-edged. I love the idea that it’s more than just a mask, but rather something that’s almost a physical part of Batman which he can emote through. This allowed us to create a more intense expression, which is essential for such a powerful character.
I also wanted to convey a certain attitude and physique in the chin and mouth, squeezing as much machismo as I could into the area. It sounds silly, but I think Batman’s chin is one of his most important, defining features, so we had to get it right! If you look hard enough, you might also see a little Jon Hamm influence.
When creating a bust, you don’t have the benefit of using body language and anatomy to portray emotion the way you do with a full sculpted figure. So finding just the right facial expression is particularly important. I couldn’t be happier with the final result.