John Lopez - Video

John Lopez’s sculpture is like a prodigy of “mechanical biology,” where animal robotization meets Darwinian evolution. His works of art carry illusionism which involves and bewilders the viewer during the decoding process. Through the use of little tricks, the artist provides tiny clues, such as shapes, colors or textures, in fact, he does not even depict them realistically, many are incredibly abstract. These successive sets of symbology create an illusion that only makes sense in the viewer’s mind. It is precisely here that magic exerts its greatest power; incorporates the different stimuli as integral parts of the whole.

Consequently, the materials that are totally unconnected with the function which they were designed for, here they appear to be integrated and reborn. Besides being a structural part of the work, they are also used more superficially – from an aesthetic-ornamental standpoint. They become, in short, the DNA that gives life to these pieces of Art.

Two fascinating things coincide: the first is to understand how colors and textures are recreated and the forms are conceived; the second is to discover the origin or source of the amalgam of pieces that make up the sculpture. Lopez’s sculpture is an expressionist representation which materializes new meanings in its models. His constant recycling creates surrealistic similarities, with glimpses of absurdist humor.

It is interesting to notice the relationship between the silhouette and the volume of the different masses which constitute as the body’s muscular areas. There is a self-interconnectedness that results in a genetic push and pull, a natural reincarnation in a syntactic body that works like a machine. Rusty and useless parts of any unused mechanism now appear rejuvenated in another body and serving a different purpose. They carry the traces of their past life and convey a very strong dynamic energy. This mechanical anatomy depicts the animal with such originality and similitude that it looks capable of attaining the perfect locomotion. This resurrection not only mimics the physical characteristics but also it is temperament and soul.

By Pedro Boaventura • Excerpt from Masters of Contemporary Fine Art - Volume 3

Sculptor John Lopez is a product of a place. His people’s ranches are scattered along the Grand River in northwestern South Dakota—not far from where Sitting Bull was born and died. Not far from where thousands of buffalo were killed during the westward expansion of settlers and gold miners. In the bone yards of Tyrannosaurus rex and grizzly bears. Since farmers and ranchers populated this chunk of reservation land, real cowboys have been roping and branding and sheering and haying and harvesting.

John’s own forte lies in gentling colts and perfecting their bloodlines—and he started his celebration of them by sculpting in clay. Capturing every nuance, every muscle, in this land where business is still conducted over a cup of coffee and “neighboring” is a way of life. Somehow that way of life—where times seems to have stood still—has seen the transition from horsepower to vehicles. The rusted carcasses of discarded equipment stand testament to generations of labor. And the man who knows blood lines has picked through them, choosing the elements of the past—the actual implements that plowed the soil or cut the grain or dug the dinosaur—and created the curve of a jaw, the twitch of a tail, the power of a shoulder. Join John on a tour of kitchens and scrap piles, barns and grain elevators, cemeteries and workshops—hosted by the people of the prairie.  Listen carefully. There’s a story in the wind.

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