John Schwarz | Rigmarole
The process of assembling multi-material sculptures out of recycled objects continues to be an exciting blend of Recycle Center scavenging, garage sale picking, backyard engineering and happy accidents. There isn’t a book of rules or guidelines to assist the “would be” repurposing materials artist. The contemporary assemblage artist is on his own; a bit like the cowboy of old with his saddle pack and box of tools, broken implements and shade tree mechanical ingenuity. Nuts, bolts, washers and socket wrenches are
among the tools I use to assemble my ragtag collection of parts into art. My composition is drawn from bikes, cars, lawnmowers, domestic appliances, sports equipment and the mysterious gifts of “stuff’ dropped off for me by neighbors and friends.
All of this incubates, evolves and eventually coheres into freestanding sculptures and wall creatures. My new body of work includes metal “Jurassic” incarnations, whimsical creatures, elegant animals from land and sea and robotic tin men circa 1950’s. The son of a NASA engineer, I am inspired by mechanics and grew up in the era of Sci-Fi movies, Apollo lunar landings, flying saucers and popular science magazines. I let the parts “talk” and dictate the final look and scale of the finished pieces. Gone are the drawing pads and slide rulers. Instead I’ve chosen to follow an intuitive path. With less preplanning in place I maintain a keen eye on art foundation principles and look for the moments of comedic relief. Happy Trails…