After two years of dedicating perfection to sculpting and bronzing, local artist Miles Tucker is preparing to send his finished piece to the Vatican in Rome as a gift.
The 630-pound sculpture depicts a crowd carrying the body of Jesus after the crucifixion — in other words, a detailed version of Michelangelo’s “Pieta”.
“I was inspired by his work,” Tucker said. “I was fascinated by how a lifeless, full grown male was placed on Saint Mary’s lap.”
When Tucker researched the moment in Bible — such as who was there and when it was done — he wondered how Jesus got into Mary’s lap.
“It tells a story of what was happening when it happened,” he said. “It’s the last good byes and the people are on their way to the tomb after the crucifixion.”
Upon its completion, the sculpture was featured last week at the Redemption Church on Synder Avenue.
“When I looked at this bronze, I wanted to cry,” said attendee Priscilla Rundle. “It’s so beautiful.”
Although an exact date isn’t set on when Tucker’s piece will be delivered to the Vatican, he’s hoping the Carson City community can assist him getting the sculpture to Rome sooner rather than later.
“The Vatican does not commission artwork,” he said. “In fact, this piece is not commissioned by anyone. It was something I was inspired to create.”
Tucker hails from south Texas and has commissioned work for several landmarks and celebrities throughout his career, including sculptures for the Grand Floridian Hotel at Disneyworld and Steven Spielberg Productions.
For years, Tucker sculpted with wood before advancing to bronze; some of his best known work are his wildlife-theme statues.
But he and his family relocated to Northern Nevada as most of his clients were located in the area. He also admires Carson City’s investment in art.
“I wanted to pursue my career here,” Tucker said. “I will be working on my next projects here. But for now, I’m taking a short break to introduce my new piece to the world, and allow churches and colleges to purchase copies.”
Tucker’s future projects include the Resurrection of Jesus and the First Communion; a more live-action version of Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper”.
“I’m going to bronze that close as humanly as possible of the real moment,” he said. “It will be done in the tradition of the Jewish lifestyle, like sitting on pillows instead of chairs and not gathered on one side of the table. It really wasn’t the last supper.”
To help him finance these projects on top of sending his latest work to Rome, Tucker said he’s open to working with community members to sponsor the pieces.
Tucker’s work also can be viewed at the Richardson Gallery of Fine Art in Reno, 3670 S. Virginia St.
To learn more about Tucker and his work, or to contact him, visit milestuckerart.com.