|Strength Of A Woman|
This piece is filled with historical references, from tribal beadwork to Rodin’s sculpture of Balzac. Balzac was known as a nocturnal artist who wrote for 15 hours a day, fueled by vast quantities of coffee. Wagner was also nocturnal, working for long stretches of time, sleeping only a few hours a day.
The beadwork seen on the young Sioux woman’s dress is made up of thousands of tiny painted dots applied a double aught brush, ensuring historical accuracy. She is wearing a tribal dress circa 1860-1870. Typical of Wagner and his dedication to precision, this dress is a well-researched, detailed copied from an actual museum garment. Her earrings are silver, bone, and Russian polychrome beads circa 1850. Her face is painted white, the color of purity and her elbows jut forward, hands at her neck as if she is holding the yoke of her dress. Her arms are strong; veins atop sinewy muscle are evident beneath the skin. Behind her in the background are the eyes of Honoré de Balzac from a sculpture by Rodin. Balzac appears to be crying tears of blood.