In The Middle Of The Wild West Prairies, This Artist Creates Incredible Works Of Art, Welded From Scrap Metal And Discarded Objects

Date October 19, 2017

Surrounded by the ranches of South Dakota, an unusually talented artist, John Lopez, welds incredible pieces of art, made of scrap metal and discarded farm tools. He creates enormous bulls, horses, and even bears, the embodiments of wild west.

His first big job was creating bronze figures, resembling America’s leaders, for the City of Presidents in Rapid City, South Dakota. Thus, he made 43 life-size statues that have become the city streets decorations.

He hasn’t stopped doing this ever since. Lopez takes scrap metal, discarded objects, bronze figurines, and any other metal leftovers and welds them into intricate animal sculptures. He calls this his “Hybrid metal art.” The leftovers are transformed into incredible 3-D collages that amaze people with the close-to-reality resemblance. His horses seem to be ready to gallop at any moment, the birds are about to fly, and the dinosaur is about to attack.

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Lopez was born in Lemmon, South Dakota, a rural town on the prairie, and has spent his whole life living there. He first discovered sculpture when he was a commercial art student at Northern State University. Later, he became an apprentice of several sculptors, such as Dale Lamphere and others. He started with conventional bronze figurines, but it was really hard to sell them.

However, eight years ago, his life and creative approach changed completely after his beloved aunt Affie died. To honor her memory, Lopez made a small hand-welded angel from discarded metal to decorate her tomb. He said:

I was dealing with the loss of one of my biggest fans, so I put all my energy and emotion into it.

This sad event completely transformed his career and creativity. Lopez started making similar but more ambitious projects, like scrap metal horses, bears, and even a silverware peacock. He says:

My style really came into its own and changed. I’m excited about the new direction.

His talent hasn’t been unnoticed. Many collectors, clients, and even museums across the country are lining up to buy his sculptures.

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Living on a ranch, Lopez, like no one else, understands animal anatomy and chooses the right materials and shapes to achieve the maximum resemblance when recreating muscles, bones, and joints.

After all, his sculptures are much more than just the lucky combination of materials and shapes. This outstanding man is really putting his soul into every creation that he makes. Working in his rural studio, surrounded by the prairies, the artist creates the figures, each and every one of which tells an epic story about the culture of the West.

Please, share if you found his works inspiring!

Source: Great Big Story / Youtube