large wire sculpture lion created by Mason Taylor on a table in the 3-D Studio

3-D Demo Studio Artist Mason Taylor

Mason Taylor will be in the 3-D Studio demonstrating wire sculpture May 12-13 and May 19-20, 2018.

Olivia Davies: What will your demonstration at the DAM look like? What can visitors expect?

Mason Taylor: My art demonstration will include a completed full-sized wire and sisal twine lion, and I will be constructing on-site downscaled horse head and necks. Visitors can expect a very interactive demonstration, discussion about the inspiration behind my art, life growing up on the ranch, etc.

OD: What originally inspired you to create wire sculptures?

MT: Growing up on a cattle ranch, I was tasked by my father to pick up loose baling wire from the hay bales dropped for cattle feed, to prevent injury to the ranch animals. When I was about 7 years old, my mother asked if I would make her a wire lizard – she probably knew about my future passion before I did! From there, I started constructing larger animals like turtles, then reindeer and eventually anatomic scale horses.

wire sculpture of horse rearing on back legs created by Mason Taylor next to small boy
© and courtesy Mason Taylor

OD: What are some of the rewards and challenges associated with wire sculpture?

MT: It is very fulfilling to create something substantial out of virtually nothing. It is literally, and figuratively, hollow (thus very hard to photograph) – yet it is tactile, and quite a presence when it is completed and installed. The challenges are somewhat like other artists – placing monetary value on a subjective purchase – and surprisingly dissimilar. I must plan on having nearly no use of my hands for a few days after a stretch of construction, as I don’t use gloves, and baling wire is a 14-gauge metal, is relatively noncompliant, and very sharp.

OD: How does your personal background inform your artistic practice?

MT: I primarily focus on western art, as my upbringing on a large ranch in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains clearly inspired my fascination with the anatomy and fluidity in motion of the quarter horse. In fact, the musculature and function of animals in general has driven the construction of several subjects inclusive of a lion, an elephant, and even a rhinoceros.

Olivia Davies is a studio and artist programs intern in the department of learning and engagement at the Denver Art Museum.

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