Scholar and Sculptor, Working Inside the Head and Out | NY Times


Peter Bulow holds clay sculptures of his wife, Amy, and son, Isaac. Some of his works, enlarged to life size, are now on display at the Heather Garden in Fort Tryon Park. Photo: Ruth Fremson | The NY Times

Snapping open a violin case, Peter Bulow reveals a line of clay heads — fellow passengers from his subway rides, carved on the fly. They fit in the palm of the hand they were born in. This is the sketch work of a sculptor shaping at the speed of the A train as it rumbles from 59th Street to 125th Street.

Here is a man wearing a cap inscribed Korean-Vietnam War Veterans, a roaring tiger stitched on the side. A 13-year-old girl on her way to a violin lesson. A macho guy with headphones. A woman with a fur collar who seemed at peace. A couple snuggling. A man, mouth agape, dozing and drooling. Others, wearing regal turbans and dreadlocks and polyester extensions.

A dozen of these heads have been un-shrunk by Dr. Bulow, a psychiatrist, who has enlarged them to life-size or bigger, for an exhibition in Fort Tryon Park called Passing Glances. The heads are perched in stone settees that overlook the Heather Garden and the Hudson River.

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