For those who were fortunate enough to catch the Broadway or West End award-winning stage productions of War Horse, you may have an understanding how much work goes into making an inanimate creature look real. This year John Lopez’s amazing metal sculptures are entering our zeitgeist as something of beauty. Recreating wild west creatures out of discarded metal farm and ranch equipment lend realism when the sum of its parts is viewed in its totality.
Lopez began his career as a bronze sculptor in South Dakota. His western rodeo-themed bronzes have been well received by the public and have been sold nationwide, from New York to California.
As his success progressed, he realized the versatility of scrap metal when he forged a family grave for one of his deceased family members. According to the Animal Channel, “it creates a unique aesthetic, a kind of mishmash punk sensibility in his beautiful and imposing artwork.”
His work pays respect to the past while juxtaposing it with a modern-day sensibility. For instance, when was the last time you saw a cowboy riding a dinosaur?
In 2008 John placed his scrap iron monument of "Triceratops Cowboy" (a cowboy riding a Triceratops) in front of the Grande River Museum in Lemmon, SD. Later that same year John relocated it to Faith, SD in honor of the largest T-Rex ever found by the name of Sue.
In his words
“My favorite part about these pieces is the texture,” explains Lopez. “I just start grabbin’ stuff from the pile and welding it, in and if you weld enough of the same thing on over and over it creates this really cool texture that I’ve never seen in these kinds of pieces before. And I think that’s what draws people in,” says Lopez.
What’s your thoughts on this unique sculpture? Do you think it strikes a new chord in the art world? Please feel free to critique below.
Primary Source: Artist Transforms Old Farm Equipment