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Josh Schwartz

When I started sculpting with metal it was out of my father’s automotive shop, using scrap metal from his waste bin. Yes, as a budding artist, trying to find his niche, it was a lucrative and cheap way to try out different techniques and hone my handling of the material. I discovered a love for the texture of oxidation and what tones of color could exist on a metal surface. Moreover, what grew from this exploratory phase was the appreciation for textures and how the elements of nature create notable alterations to even manufactured relics. This fascination took me through a phase of modifying automotive and agricultural instruments into furniture, which was as an attempt to pay respect to the past and extend the life of what America made best.

More recently, my sculptures are reflective of my work as ecological-horticulturalist. There were moments when I felt sad, while on a job, when dismembering, cutting down, and then removing mature tree specimens from a property. It takes decades for these plants to take root and grow to their full size. Like humans, no two trees are the same, which is due to site specific growing conditions. To pay tribute to these unique landscape individuals, I developed a technique for wrapping them with metal to capturing the contour of each specimen. Each sculpture is an impression of what was there on the landscape so, that we can acknowledge the change of natural succession.