Artist discusses creating Peyton Manning statue


Rendering of Peyton Manning statue outside Lucas Oil Stadium (Photo courtesy of the Colts)

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.- The only thing Indianapolis artist Ryan Feeney will revel about the statue of Peyton Manning that he spent the last 18 months creating is that #18 is holding a football in it.

Feeney said the secrecy around what the statue looks like is intentional.

“If people found out where it is, then somebody comes over and takes a picture then social media gets ahold of it and it’s only half done,” Feeney said.

Early in the creative process Ryan spent an hour with Peyton in Nashville, Tennessee.

“My major goal was when he’s wearing his helmet how does his face scrunch up—because you can sculpt his face all day long like he’s not wearing a helmet but we know the face changes as you do that,”  Feeney said.

A photographer snapped hundreds of pictures of Peyton during that meeting.

Ryan turned one of those images into his digital blueprint, from that he created a foam model of the statue that he layered the clay on.

“And then I go in and add the knuckles, and add the wrinkles, and the veins in his arm. And I’d actually put the clay on and wrap it around like pizza dough and make the sleeve and make the number and sculpt his face,” Fenney said.

If you thought Peyton was a perfectionist when he was playing, it sounds like his former bosses took a page out of his playbook when it came to making sure this statue was just right.

“They came out five times. They’re like change this, do this, the numbers are too small they need to do this here," Feeney said.

The finished product will have a two-toned look to it.

“I hope that he (Peyton) likes it," Feeney said.

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