The Steampunk Collection Metal Sculptures from a Welding Wizard
The unique style of steampunk has become quite popular over the years, in literature, film, and of course visual art. Calling a metal sculpture “steampunk” means that it was inspired by or displays similarities to the age of steam engines, with their many churning gears, pipes, and metal parts. The narrative behind steampunk art is usually told in a retrofuturistic setting, where machines look more like they did in the Wild West and Victorian England than those of our times.
The hybrid metal art sculptures of John Lopez lend themselves so well to the steampunk look. This is because they are composed of many antique metal parts that he finds on old farms and in junk yards.
“In every scrap pile, I find something unique or interesting I want to incorporate, so the dynamics of the sculpture are always changing.”
The Steampunk Collection that the artist has been crafting over the years is exemplified by Steampunk Owl. The animal subject fits with the tendencies of Lopez, but this particular piece seems to have strange mechanics insides. There are many circular gears that show under the wing, while the face itself is composed of old saw blades, giving it a sharp and industrial aesthetic. The memorable sculpture is in reality exactly that which is most adored in steampunk lore, forward-thinking inventions made of dated machine parts. Except here the magic is crafted visually, speaking loudly even without words.
The process John Lopez employs to create his steampunk metal sculptures is long and involved. Take for instance Steampunk Octopus, which looks like something out of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The artist encounters all of these small scraps and must envision how they could be used to construct a never-before-seen artwork. He must carefully consider the shape of each shard and understand whether it would accentuate or distract from the final form. This tactile process literally gets him in touch with his materials, which in turn allows him to masterfully bring to life such extraordinary creatures, like those of The Steampunk Collection.
“It can take me up to five months to build one of these pieces. I am working on one now that could take me a couple of years. I collect the iron from local ranchers and farmers I knew as a kid.”
His diligent method leads to wonderful textures in the case of the horse sculpture Jackson, whose skin resembles some kind of anachronistic armor technology. It is an iconic look that makes for intriguing art in public places, as well as in the gallery. The trendy, yet captivating style of The Steampunk Collection is sure to please not just fans of steampunk, nor just the art lovers, but whole families from around the globe as well.