Sam Tufnell

Sam Tufnell is a contemporary artist born in Los Angeles, California in 1978. He lives and works in Upstate New York.

Artist Statement

Part of my creative desire is to find new ways to convey traditional subject matter as well as my own childish motives to move against the art establishment. For me the figure will always be the ‘original sculpture’ and abstraction will always be it’s ‘rebel child’ however both share a common thread with monumentality and public art. It is a conflict that I am constantly challenged by and the more I try to resolve the issue between monumentality and sculpture the further my subject matter devolves into a kind of anti-monumentality. It is this concept of the anti-monument that has pervaded much of my subject matter throughout each medium I explore.

My primary processes have been casting and welding and each process has posed a different question concerning my concept with the anti-monument. With steel sculpture the biggest challenge has always been the evasion of abstraction. I want to mold the cold rigidity of industrial steel into something familiar yet I also enjoy the factory-like process of cutting and machining the material through a regimented, impersonal, assembly line system. Within my process of rose-making I found a solution to both my desire to do machine-like work while still working within an organic subject matter. The rose is conceptually anti-thetical to the industrial application of welded steel. A symbol of romance that is void in the ‘practical’ world of steel working and to some degree contemporary art.


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