South Dakota sculptor John Lopez creates life-size scrap metal sculptures with a uniquely American look. In his hands, old discarded farm equipment is recycled into sculptures of iconic creatures from the American West, such as bison, a horse plowing a field and a Texas Longhorn. Lopez already had a career as a bronze sculptor; but after creating a memorial for a deceased aunt using scrap metal, he began creating sculptures out of found objects.
“My favorite part about these pieces is the texture,” says Lopez. “I just start grabbin’ stuff from the pile and welding it in, and, if you weld together enough of the same thing over and over, it creates this really cool texture that I’ve never seen in these kinds of pieces before. I think that’s what draws people in.”
Lopez’s pieces are unique in many ways. In addition to the textures, there is a nostalgic, sci-fi feel to them that harkens back to the TV show, The Wild Wild West. It would not be hard to imagine Artemus Gordon or Jules Verne inventing such creatures. It would also not be difficult to imagine them moving. Three things are certain: they are very creative, they are very well made, and the anatomy is impeccable. Obviously Lopez is a student of the wildlife of the American plains.
Lopez is a fascinating artist with an interesting story. I encourage you to visit his web site and read his bio. The link is at the end of this article.
For more on John Lopez, go to http://www.johnlopezstudio.com
Many thanks to my friend Guy Myers for telling me about this.
Waitsel Smith, August 19, 2014
For more on Art & Style, go to my Art & Style web page.
Photos © 2014 John Lopez. All Rights Reserved.