November 6, 2014 Weld of the Week #8
The figure itself is flame-cut steel and welded scrap metal, and stands on a circular pine wood base. Its conception stems from my interest in Candomblé—the Brazilian form of voodoo—and my wish at the time I made it to put some mojo out there to extend the length of my month-to-month lease on my amazing cheap studio in a former gas station on NYC's Lower East Side another 5 years. That is why the figure holds a number 5.
I guess it worked as I was able to keep the studio another 10 years!
(photo credit: Kelly Irwin)
October 25, 2014 Weld of the Week #7
This sculpture is about the feeling of riding a motorcycle (hence the title). I sought to show spatial volumes that approximate a motorcycle’s proportions of aerodynamic wave vibrations (in an abstract manner).
Inspiration came from Italian Futurism and my personal desire to show the intensity of speed and motion in a static 3-D artwork.
A limited-edition Harley-Davidson folding knife designed by the knifesmith David Mann adds a (literally) edgy aspect to the work.
October 17, 2014 1 Comment Weld of the Week #6
The name comes from my impression that the table resembles an abstract flag under the glass. Contrasting types of rusty ornamental iron and angular stainless steel are welded directly to one another to create an interesting synthesis between old and new material.
Structure and composition within the piece flows together quite interestingly in terms of practical cantilevering and aesthetic juxtaposition as well as proportion. I sought to blend two styles (old/new and rough/finished) together in the table and view it as quite successful in that regard.
October 11, 2014 Weld of the Week #5
Part of my gun series—obviously—but also part of a series within the gun series where I affixed car emblems to the guns like brand names. I did this as a comment on both Obama's auto industry bailout and his “Cash for Clunkers” program where people with a working old car would trade it in for a discount on a new car (sounds great but the old cars were crushed up mostly which hurt the junkyard industry and made it harder on old car owners to find parts for their older vehicles). So the Cutlass Uzi channels my feelings about wanting to do a number on the senate floor not to kill people, but, rather, to “kill” these bills — taxpayer handouts to industry and investment firms while their excesses of awarding executives million-dollar bonuses (even during the bailout months) was still going on. So the full title of the piece is the “Post-Auto-Bailout Uzi” Machine Gun. It has a Cutlass muscle-car emblem on it as a side joke on “cutlass” (lower-case “c”) being a sword and different from a gun or the old adage about “forging swords into plowshares.”
October 5, 2014 Weld of the Week #4
I had a dog growing up in NYC as a kid and I started to think of the city through a dog’s perspective—which inspired this piece. The dog here is cast lead but with some random bits of steel dropped into the cast as it was drying, making for a rough ornament and patina on the dog’s sides—a metaphor for the edgy streets on which it walks. The entire dog is stuck in kind of a cage made from part of a supermarket cart, which acts as another metaphor—of pressure and containment. The city dog is not so happy but is wise.
September 23, 2014 Weld of the Week #3
Among my taller candlesticks, Tri-Spring is also on the more eclectic and artistic end of design. The engine block springs came from a ‘60s Buick I bought in New Orleans and drove to NYC where it met its untimely death on the Lower East Side when it caught on fire from a leaky gas tank. The base is an unusual cast gear. The vertical proportions are particularly offbeat in this piece as your eye travels up or down.
I’ve done over 150 different “candle holding devices” as I call them and this is one of my personal favorites.
September 12, 2014 Weld of the Week #2
The idea came from a visit to NYC Harley-Davidson (which is—strangely—located in Queens, NY) about 8 years ago with a childhood friend, who’d bought his first Harley there in 1982 and knew all the old-school managers and mechanics by their first names or nicknames. When I mentioned I did metal art, Bobby “Wheels” was only too happy to walk me to the back and let me rummage through their dumpster. That‘s where the two gas tanks came from—they’d been in real crashes and have some road rash on them. I did not have the idea right away to make a rocking chair out of them, but when I sat on them it was a no-brainer. They are pretty comfortable at the angles I put them!
September 4, 2014 Weld of the Week #1
This sculpture was inspired by David Smith and a story involving his daughter (Rebecca Smith) and a high school friend of mine who shares the same name and lives in the same town (Bolton Landing, NY) as Smith's daughter. The non-daughter apparently gets the daughter's mail by accident sometimes. Anyway the random serendipity of the story was a departure point for channeling some of David Smith's genius into a homage to my friend. Not that the piece copies Smith's work (although Smith did use circles, he did not use them in this way).
The interplay of curves and circles in this 25"-high sculpture is a fascinating variance of levels and proportions that make for an exciting and truly rare, beautiful and unique composition. This was done when I was 38 and I consider it to be one of my finest abstract masterworks.
Another personal element of the piece is that I hand painted it (in a black to white tonal scale) where the change from light to dark tones resonates with the changing physical volumes and morphing linear thicknesses throughout the piece. The overall result, I think, is a highly complex and cerebral work considering it was done from a rough sketch.