The Steel Portraits Series: Sculpture by Daniel Lombardo – June 9-24. This series contains seven pieces inspired by the concept of portraits, masks and the potential limitations of the process of manipulating metal through forging, cutting and welding. Reception 06.09.18; 2-5PM thru 06.24.18
On “The Portraits Series”: After making several large scale sculptures I felt the need to work on a more intimate scale. However, the material I had was a 10’ length of 5” square steel pipe with 3/8” thick walls. I cut off a manageable piece approximately 24” long. I wanted to partially break the geometric integrity so I cut down the length of one corner to a few inches short of one end. This would give the piece a base or neck to stand on. I began to unfold the metal along that cut seam and then began to shape the features of the portrait. The thickness and weight of the material were quite challenging and after working it to a point that I felt it was finished I presented it for critique by my fellow sculptors. The critique left me feeling that the piece was not finished but I was not sure what additional manipulation was needed. Our mentor felt that I was onto an idea rich with possibilities and encouraged me to develop a series. So I set the first piece aside and began another sculpture based on drawings in which I deconstructed the pipe is various ways and maintaining the same scale as the first piece.
Artist Statement: My sculpture is inspired by the human figure generally a vertical presentation, focusing on the gestalt of interconnected shapes that are both linear and volumetric. Additional inspiration comes from the totem poles of Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest and other tribal cultures from around the world, with their stacked and interconnected elements that may represent key figures or concepts in their myths and legends, combined to “tell a tale” or be a reminder of basic cultural tenets. Though my sculptures do not represent any specific events, I imagine my pieces as abstracted tales of personal events or general themes of human experience. The pieces develop from gestural sketches based on this visual language of interconnected forms merging and diverging usually, but not exclusively, along a vertical axis. For the past 5 years I have focused on working in forged steel, which has fostered new gestural elements inspired by the material and this process.