Art on the Fly
A new exhibit of South Carolina artist Grainger McKoy's scupltures
South Carolina artist Grainger McKoy was just thirteen years old when he carved his first bird from a cypress log. The simplicity of his first design—inspired by a canvasback decoy his grandmother had given him for Christmas—gave way to highly realistic, gravity-defying representations of birds in the field. Rather than work from one large block of wood (as is typical), McKoy meticulously crafts each wooden feather, building his sculptures plume by plume. Not surprisingly, it takes years of work to produce a finished piece, and the waiting list for his sculptures stretches five years. But getting a bird’s-eye view of McKoy’s creations just became a whole lot easier.
This weekend, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta introduces The Sculpture of Grainger McKoy (September 25–January 8). This exhibit includes thirty-four of McKoy’s most iconic works including Covey Rise, which depicts a sudden flight of quail pulled from McKoy’s memories of Carolina quail hunts. But it's the twelve-foot-high Recovery Stroke, a profile of a single wing, that captures the true scope of McKoy’s artistic abilities—and shows just how far he’s come from that old cypress log.
>To see a gallery of McKoy's sculptures, click here.