When you think about the history of the American wild west, what comes to mind? Cowboys. Pioneers. People who forged the land and survived on grit and hard work. And gorgeous animals including buffalo, stallions, and Texas longhorns.
But one modern artist has found an incredible way to spin the old ways of American farming into creative sculptures that harken back at the era the equipment was built for. To achieve his goal, South Dakota-based artist John Lopez takes discarded farm equipment and machine parts and creates beautiful metal sculptures that will blow your mind.
Scroll through the images of his amazing artwork below and get a whole new take on the Wild West you’ve come to love…
When John Lopez realized his love for welding, he began turning old farm equipment parts into these gorgeous sculptures. Many of his pieces of work are depicted after elk, buffalo, large bulls, and other animals found in the West.
His art is eco-friendly because he is re-purposing old equipment that otherwise would have just been in a trash heap somewhere. But his welded figures perfectly capture the iconic imagery of the American West.
Out of the recycled materials, Lopez created the Texas Longhorn, a bison, and even a cowboy riding a bucking bronco.
According to his website, “Sculptor John Lopez is a product of a place. His people’s ranches are scattered along the Grand River in northwestern South Dakota—not far from where Sitting Bull was born and died… Since farmers and ranchers populated this chunk of reservation land, real cowboys have been roping and branding and sheering and haying and harvesting.”
John Lopez goes on to describe that how his way of life has been transformed in recent decades. The farmland and the ranches are changing from the inside out.
“Somehow that way of life—where times seems to have stood still—has seen the transition from horsepower to vehicles. The rusted carcasses of discarded equipment stand testament to generations of labor. And the man who knows blood lines has picked through them, choosing the elements of the past—the actual implements that plowed the soil or cut the grain or dug the dinosaur—and created the curve of a jaw, the twitch of a tail, the power of a shoulder.”
In the video below, you’ll get a close look at John Lopez’s sculptures. You’ll get to see his process and how he transforms old equipment into valuable, one-of-a-kind art.
The video description says: “Sculptor John Lopez welds one-of-a-kind monumental sculptures, re-purposing scrap iron and found objects. much of his his material comes from ranches in South Dakota.”
What do you think about this American sculpture’s work? Would you want one of his sculptures for your property?