They say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and for Brian Mock, that statement couldn’t be more accurate. This Aloha, Oregon-based metal sculptor just took recycling to a whole other level, combining imagination, experience, and technical skill to create works of art that are so extraordinary, they almost look impossible to replicate.
For most of us, old car parts and unused cutlery belong in only one place – the junkyard. Recycling is not often in the list of things we have to do. For Brian, however, these objects make up the essence of his artworks. He collects scrap metal – screws, nuts, bolts, old cutlery – and turns them into fantastic outdoor sculptures.
His final creations take the form of various animals such as cats, dogs, bears, octopuses, and elephants. The artist also produces sculptures in the shape of humans and musical instruments.
Brian’s artistic nature became apparent when he was just a young boy. As a kid, he started drawing pictures and transitioned into painting and wood carving as he grew older. In the late 1990s, he began sculpting with recycled metal, and that ignited his creative passion for producing more works of art using the said material.
“Giving old, everyday objects a new life as one sculpture is an artistically demanding, yet gratifying, process. My work is designed to emphasize resourcefulness and encourage viewer engagement. Audience reactions fuel my creativity and help me bring my visions to life,” he wrote on his website.
Amazingly, Brian didn’t undergo any training in metalwork; his welding skills are entirely self-taught. With that, the brilliant artist is continuously expanding his portfolio, adding more to his collection of life-size and sometimes larger-than-life metallic sculptures.
Brian carefully chooses each piece of scrap metal for recycling and determines how it would fit the form of his subjects. For example, he uses flexible metal chains to depict dog tails and large sheets of curved metal to create floppy ears.
Aside from its delicate craftsmanship, what sets these sculptures apart is Brian’s way of signing them. Each finished product contains a personal item, making each of his creations one-of-a-kind.
In an interview with wescover.com, Brian shared how he knows if his sculptures are already complete. He said: “My pieces come to life as soon as they’ve eyes, or when I can achieve a fluidity of motion, such as in the hair of a mane or the curve of a fin.”
Major galleries from New York to Maui showcase Brian’s incredible sculptures. Some of his works also figure in public spaces and several publications, including two art books. Luxury hotels in the country and countless international collectors are also among the fans of Brian’s unique metallic artworks, which are easily recognizable given their distinct character. He has also done commission work for the Ripley’s ‘Believe It or Not’ museum.
Check out the gallery below to see more of Brian Mock’s extraordinary art pieces.