John Lebowitz – Sculpture

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Artist Statement:   

Born in New York City, I am a retired social worker who has been making interior furnishings and sculpture during my leisure time for the past 39 years while living and working in Carrollton, Georgia.   Although I have circumvented traditional studies or a formal degree in the visual arts, I have been fortunate for the last three years to enjoy sculpting in the metal and woodworking studios at the University of West Georgia.  For this, I am grateful to both the faculty and students for their comradery and inspiration as I continue on a path of discovery in new materials and methods of sculpting.

I make sculpture primarily in metal and wood, and do so for the pleasure of the process and to share my vision of art with others. At the completion of a sculpture, I might discover some metaphorical meaning that is usually unexpected and revealing of a secluded truth.

My metal sculptures are derived from my attraction to industrialized forms and materials.  I utilize industrial bar stock, retired farm accessories, discarded steel scrap, and the remnants of materials castaway by other metal artists. Because I cut, bend, grind, and weld parts together, my method is referred to as “direct metal sculpture”.  I strive to achieve seamless construction and refined detail finishes that inevitably become labor intensive. These are signature components in my art. The scale of my work is relatively small and intended for residential viewing.

When sculpting in wood, I’m intrigued by the transition of trees into objects that have an intended purpose, such as lumber, firewood, products, and wood designated as scrap.  My intention is to deconstruct, transform, and glorify these objects by reducing them to biomorphic forms, or fabricating constructions that mutate an original purpose. My methods involve navigating the dangers of carbide disc grinding, sandblasting, torching wood, as well as performing the finesse of carving, hand sanding, and surface treatments. With these techniques I can accentuate the uniqueness of grain patterns, textures, and forms, while also creating a presence of destruction and decay that may transcend time, and enhance the beauty of the form.

I make non-objective art whether sculpting in wood or metal.  My approach to design is usually rapid, intuitive, and dictated by the specific materials I choose to use. I try to abstain from conceiving a completed image of the work, and instead, enjoy the challenge of speculating possibilities where the commitment of one action informs the next. This allows me to achieve something beyond my imagination.