Not all artists get to see their work on TV. Bruce Gray does!
He is a Los Angeles sculptor, famous for his kinetic sculptures which include mobiles and stabiles, amazing gravity defying suspended super power magnet sculptures and rolling ball sculptures. His creative spirit has spilled amazing objet d'art as a consequence of which, the artifacts were able to find an eminent place in innumerable art galleries and exhibitions, as well as in motion pictures, television, commercials and music videos.
Check out Bruce’s interview with a few pictures of his work after a li’le jump.
1. Since when did you decide that you have an inclination towards sculptural artwork, esp. the mysteries of balance and gravity?
Bruce: I started really getting into making sculptures after moving from Boston to Los Angeles in 1989. I had been working in advertising, but decided to move to LA and try making my own artistic creations. I have always been a huge Alexander Calder fan, and when I bought a welder and could finally really make that kind of thing, I started making mobiles as some of my first sculpture projects. The suspended magnet sculptures came a bit later, and have become one of my signature pieces. Everyone is amazed that I can make those magnets hang on strings suspended in air held in place by magnetic force. This is only possible because I use special super high powered neodymium iron boron rare earth magnets. I have made those "Suspension" magnetic sculptures in many sizes and materials. The rolling ball machines came next, which are all about using gravity to make something interesting happen with the movement and sounds created by balls traveling through the sculpture. I have two of my ball machines in the permanent collection of The Rolling Ball Museum in Seoul, Korea.
2. Initially you started working with wood but then you shifted your focus to other materials like magnets, aluminum, stainless steel, and scrap metal, would you please expatiate a little o'er it?
Bruce: I started with wood because that was a material I had worked with before. I soon realized that most of the ideas for sculptures that I wanted to make would be best in metal, so I bought a cheap little welder and figured out how to use it pretty quickly. The metal I used in each project depends on many factors, such as look of material, weight, strength, cost, longevity in required environment etc. As far as scrap metal and found objects, sometimes you just find cool junk that is perfect for something. It may take 10 years to find the right "place" for it, but it is usually worth the wait. I like to experiment in many materials, and styles of sculpture and painting. You really can't predict what I will do next... Me either.
3. Is there any kind of motif running in all your creative artifacts?
Bruce: If there is, it would have to be my sense of humor and enthusiastic use of bright colors.
4. Please acquaint our readers with your "Euphoria" Kinetic art mobile sculpture?
Bruce: Euphoria is a large hanging mobile sculpture. It is 82"x115"x12". This mobile features snake-like squiggles and large discs and spheres for cool planets in space effect.
5. I'm curious to know the response you are getting from the masses for your kinetic art and kinetic sculptures?
Bruce: People love them! They are always a huge hit whenever I have an open studio tour.
6. Is it possible to construct a kinetic sculpture without a static base?
Bruce: Yes, like hanging mobiles, or other suspended sculptures.
7. Conceptual along with technical improvements within the robotics and electronics community have opened up new possibilities for kinetic sculpture, how far would you agree with me?
Bruce: Absolutely! I recently bought a spankin' new computer controlled robotic plasma cutting system. Just wait till you see the cool stuff I will be making with this puppy! Also the new technology opens up infinite possibilities for amazing unexplored styles of new kinetic art. You can practically build anything your mind comes up with on a trip to places like Frys. There are several robotic kits and other cool techno toys I plan to cannibalize and use for future sculpture projects. Stay tuned for details!
8. Who are the artists whose work inspires you and why?
Bruce: Alexander Calder is my favorite artist. Not only because he invented the mobile, but because he went off in millions of directions, making Calder's Circus, paintings, stabiles, static sculptures, functional art, and whatever else popped into his mind. That is how I like to work too, bouncing from one kind of artwork to another.
9. May we have the honor of knowing your upcoming projects?
Bruce: I am currently working on two large abstract modern wall sculptures. One is mixed metals, and the other in bright colors painted on aluminum. I am also working on a freestanding abstract intersecting geometric shapes sculpture in stainless steel, and next a curvy ultra modern stainless table base.
10. Finally, we'd like to have your view on Gizmowatch.com?
Bruce: I love it! I am a total gadget, computer and technology freak, so of course I love seeing all this great cool stuff.
A few questions in quick succession:
What is your favorite piece you have created? Why?
Bruce: Probably has been the life-size motorcycle sculpture made from train parts etc. until I just finished my new large mixed metal wall sculpture Apparition. This is a style of work that I have been doing for years but the client gave me a larger size and budget to work with, which gave me the freedom to go more wild with shapes, materials and complexity. This was also aided by the fact that I got the robotic cutter during the last quarter of the project, so I got to include some complex computer drawn and cut parts. I really love this piece.
If you are asked to make something for a science fiction, what would that be?
Bruce: I have made sculptures and furniture for such sci fi classics as Austin Powers 1,2 and 3, and also several different Star Trek series. I have had tons of my sculptures and furniture creations in movies and on TV. If I could make anything though for a "dream gig" it would probably be a wild looking car or motorcycle.
What if your favorite quote that inspires you?
Bruce: "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." John F. Kennedy.
Describe your style, like a good friend of yours would describe it.
Bruce: Off the wall and all over the map!
If you had to walk in another man's shoes for a day, it would have to be?
Bruce: Someone with the same size feet.
Thank you Bruce for this fantastic interview, I’m sure our readers might have enjoyed reading it too :) before signing off, I’d like to wish you luck for all your future endeavors, we are looking up for more rocking stuff coming outta your vault!