The Guilders are small scale figures that each have a job. This job, or action, helps to create a narrative with their surroundings. The location of the installation adds to the narrative. Whether it be a gallery, a pedestrian walk-through, a public area, a time period, or a conversation with the political, social, or ethical climate.
"My interest in the labor comes from the many hats I have filled being a part-time handyman, fabricator, and artist. The skillset of a sculptor is akin to being 'jack of all trades.' Being an artist does not always provide financial security, which is where having these many skills comes in handy. Learning woodworking, welding, molding, casting, and creative thinking all were basics to a sculpture career, yet all have more 'real world' applications as well, which can employ a hungry artist. Taking these jobs also comes with the expense of having to answer to someone other than yourself. Whether it be a lead designer of a theatrical production, a homeowner needing a repair, or sticking to the plans of a pre-designed drawing, taking jobs requires you to please that who you work for. Creating artwork, I have the responsibility of making every decision and answering to myself, and the world."
Owen's work can be found on his Instagram page, @owenoertling.
A Guilder Working the Gears is located on 3rd Street, between Poyntz and Houston, in downtown Manhattan.