Sculptor John Lopez, unsurprisingly, was raised on a ranch in South Dakota. His work echoes the rich history and the country/western culture of the land he inhabits. From the prehistoric past to the current age, John resurrects the scrap of a rapidly mechanising county in amazing cast bronze and scrap iron conglomerates that pay homage to all things South Dakota.
John already had a successful career completing cast bronze pieces and was lead in to scrap sculpture by an unfortunate life event:
This unusual detour started about two years ago, when his beloved aunt, Effie Hunt, died in a rollover car accident. Lopez moved to his widowed Uncle Geno Hunt’s ranch to build a family cemetery; his aunt would to be the first laid to rest there.
Uncle Geno opened his home and welding shop to Lopez, who completed a fence around the cemetery, then ran out of material. The ranch is 35 miles from the nearest town or post office, so he went looking through the scrap iron on site.
After some experimentation, he finished a gate into the cemetery, and then made a small angel peering over the top of the gate. The project gave him much personal satisfaction, and everyone who saw it was amazed at the result. A new career path was born in that cemetery. Not wanting to depart from his bronze casting expertise, John found a way to merge the two art forms into a new hybrid sculpture of everyday objects mixed with limited edition bronze castings. Hybrid Metal Art, a sculptural fusion of figurative and funk, a blend of iron and bronze.
It’s clear John enjoys his work… it’s also abundantly obvious he’s got a real talent for sculpture, injecting what by all accounts is old rubbish with a real sense of life and movement. You can read John’s story and check out some more of his work on his website.
The Above (featured) T – Rex sculpture is in homage to the mighty ‘Sue‘, an exceptional T rex specimen originally unearthed in 1990 at the Cheyenne river Indian Reservation, South Dakota.
Yes, that is a cowboy on a Triceratops.