MLK
43
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MLK

Category
Metal Sculpture
About This Project

By Michael Stodola


Artist Statement
My Father has been a mechanic his entire life. I have often longed for a similar route in my life, but alas, joined the ranks of a white-collar world. However, I still have an undeniable connection to exhaust, horsepower and metal. My two worlds finally became one the day I began creating portraits on car hoods. Being out in a junkyard or swap meet sourcing my “canvas” begins a road back to my father. It’s heightened when my grinder first cuts into the patina of vintage paint, revealing the fresh Detroit metal below. Sparks fly, paint burns and a deep satisfaction overcomes me.

Sculptors speak of seeing their work inside a piece of marble and all they must do is uncover it – and I finally know what they mean. My process begins as an intentional act of carving a portrait, but quickly turns into an act of subservience. The hood takes over and I simply have to reveal something that was always there. Once the image is freshly ground, my medium becomes rust. It’s a bit like painting with mud or some other organic substance. You have to respect the material and let it do what it does best.