John Lopez Hybrid Metal Art Sculptures
Introducing John Lopez
Art and history have forever been intertwined. Rulers had their portraits painted so all future generations would remember their reign. Picasso painted the atrocities of Guernica in order to immortalize the moment. A true artist doesn’t just create, but also reflects upon present times, those that came before, and those that will follow. The hybrid metal art sculptures of John Lopez open up a dynamic dialogue with the past.
His process includes picking through scrap yards for discarded machine parts and transforming them into epic statues. Mixing in his own cast bronze designs with the found materials provides further depth. The viewer may see a buffalo or horse from far away, although the individual parts are still recognizable from close-up.
Also present, is the dichotomy between the animal forms and metal. Machines supplanted livestock driven plows and carriages, changing the role of the horse and the ranching lifestyle forever. Railways and the industrialization of the west dealt a huge blow to buffalo populations.
Yet in the artist’s work there is balance between the two elements. Lopez himself describes his hybrid metal sculpture art as:
“one-of-a-kind, unique pieces with an enormous wow factor.”
His sentiments have proven true, as both the art world and everyday America are raving about his work.
John Lopez makes his home along the Grand River in South Dakota, a place that well defines the American West. He started out sculpting in clay and now impresses whole towns with public and private installations all over America, and even in France. His unique vision was definitely influenced by place.
“From the time I could walk, I was horseback… The ranch life has been a very good place for me to draw inspiration for my sculptures. A lot of times I’ll get my ideas for a sculpture from something that I see on the ranch.”
The authenticity of his hybrid metal art sculptures is felt immediately. First, the actual pieces his sculptures are composed of are veritable antiques that cannot easily be found. Secondly, the precision with which he has captured the soft and elegant intricacies of animal movements can only be learned from a life spent breaking colts. Attentively listening to old-timers tell tales in a land largely ignored by time, he communicates through his art the essence of real cowboy life.
Only someone with such an intimate connection to their subject can craft with such care.