Sculpture is one of the visual arts that embody three-dimensional forms, and it can consist of stone, wood, clay, metal, marble or virtually any material that is firm enough to hold a shape. Sculpture artists may remove material to create their artwork or they may add to it, for instance, by welding and fusing materials together.
Mike Ross, an architect and sculptor, is well known for his massive piece of art that he calls the Big Rig Jig. Originally, Ross’s creation took shape at American Steel, which is an art manufacturing plant located in Oakland, California. His idea was to highlight the misuse of oil for fuel in the United States and the role that oil plays in the faltering economy.
Ross’s famous Big Rig Jig consists of two gutted tanker trucks that stand gracefully upright, with one atop the other in an S-shape, creating a behemoth that appears to deny gravitational forces. It took several months of planning and a team of helpers to assemble the inner steel structure, before welding the truck pieces to the 25-ton support truss. The Big Rig Jig caused quite a stir at the 2007 Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert for which it had been commissioned.
Sculpture, which seemingly goes back as far as humanity itself, is a way to preserve history as well as stir the viewer’s imagination. Traditionally, sculpture has depicted religious beliefs, political leanings, and everyday life presented mostly with human forms. However, many of the materials used centuries ago have succumbed to aging, thereby being lost.
Metal casting is one of the forms of sculpture that has lasted for hundreds of years, and it is now a common subject for student artists. Additionally, today’s artists have a multitude of styles to form three-dimensional artwork such as casting, molding, welding, carving, melting, fusing plus numerous other combinations of procedures and materials.