Artist in Residence
Steven G. Derks
Three or four times a month I visit one of Tucson’s four junkyards. Most of my sculptures are conceived right there in the scrap metal yards where I find both the vision and the ingredients for my work. I just see a piece of metal and immediately imagine the completed sculpture it suggests. Most of the time, during one visit I am able to locate all of the actual metal parts that will be necessary to complete many sculptures, but occasionally an exciting piece of rusted metal will languish in my studio yard for months, waiting for the day I will find the piece or pieces that are missing.
I like the immediacy of welding; it is glue that sets up rapidly, in seconds. This makes metal become either plastic or rigid. But I never bend or cut the metal I use. This self-imposed limitation forces me to respond to the object as it actually is. My art lies in the assemblage, not the cutting and shaping of its individual parts.