And here is the first of my three 'Best Sculptor in the World' posts. It's not a top three and they are in no particular order. I should also clarify that when I talk of sculptors beyond the obvious 'I'm talking miniature sculptors as in our hobby' I should also say that I'm sticking to 25-54mm as any smaller or larger tends to be a slightly different skillset. Plus these scales are what I know.
So, here's the first and probably no surprise. He's been described as the world's best miniature sculptor many times now and his name? Jacques Alexandre Gillois (also known as JAG).
It's no exaggeration to say that JAG is THE sculptor of the moment and I suspect he is saught after by practically every high-end miniatures commissioner in the world. In the pure sense of sculpture I'd suggest that he shows no real weaknesses. He sculpts believable, natural and finely detailed pieces with a visceral impact and without the cold sterility that can plague this sculpting style. The above figure, from Studio McVey is just so beautifully rendered, crisp, clean and stands as one of the most impressive sculpts I have ever seen.
This second piece, another from Studio McVey is, genre-wise, not quite of interest to me but just look at that dino; again it looks so natural and real but dynamic and fun. The dino is a totally different sculpting challenge and JAG just knocks it out of the park.
Finally I'd like to share one of the pieces from JAG's breakout period. It was the range of Vorag Barbarians for Ilyad Games (now sadly defunct and the miniatures OOP) and shows the incredible eye for muscle detail and dynamics that JAG possesses. A thunderously impact of a piece.
I've watched JAG sculpt via his Miniature Mentor video and it was something of a shock to me. I'd always assumed he was a very meticulous and precise sculptor in his approach as this is what we see in his final designs but it was a shock to see him working like a canvas painter practically throwing the clay around and showing what looked to be quite a messy process until he finally refines to this incredible finish. There's a fiery, natural talent here to be that confident in the process. I can't help but feel that JAG is the Frank Frazetta of sculptors.
I will return soon to reveal my second choice. My second choice is another genius of the sculpting world though he's producing quite different product to JAG...
The above Studio McVey figures are available at www.studiomcvey.com and JAG has his own website at www.miniaturestudio.net