About Metal Aesthetic

Don’t think I believe I’m telling you something you don’t already inherently understand. Surely, most people know what they like, and most people tend to choose the same kinds of things over and over; we are habitual creatures, and comforted by the familiar. I would merely encourage you to examine, carefully, those decorative statements you have already made; look objectively at your own home, or even just one room, and consider who you are, aesthetically speaking, according to the objects and decorative gestures you have gathered and placed.

In my own home, I lean very much toward a contemporary, minimalist aesthetic, with very modern lines, bold colors (I especially love red and graphic black and white), rich textures (silk, leather, wool), and abstract, visual accents.

In the realm of decorative arts, I am drawn to elemental materials, such as sculptures made of glass or metal. I have several wall sculptures made of copper alloy or treated aluminum, and, indeed, they compliment beautifully the modern aesthetic of my overall decor. But regardless of that, I find that metal wall sculptures are simply a favorite thing of mine.

In preparation for this post, I’ve really thought hard about what consistently draws me to this particular art form. What I appreciate is the dimensional depth and inherent texture of metal forms. These pieces possess angles, edges, layers, and create secondary effects according to time of day, light sources and resulting shadow. I don’t dislike two-dimensional paintings, and even decorate with them, but I find metal wall sculpture possesses a dynamism that engages me a step beyond a “flat” painting.

Copper alloy and bronze remain among the most prevalent materials used in metal sculpture, though other metals, such as aluminum, silver, gold and iron, are utilized artistically, as well. In classical art, bronze has been the medium for myriad sculptures created by masters. Consider works by Rodin, Donatello, and Remington, to name a few. A number of iconic, ancient Greek sculptures were cast in bronze, as well.

Of course, my metal wall sculptures are not to be compared with the work of serious masters; the point I want to make concerns the endurance of metal as an artistic medium. Equally compelling is its versatility of character, depending on how it is handled and coaxed into form.

Metal responds beautifully to various treatments. It can be cast, cut and shaped, polished, and heated to produce color variations. It can be painted, layered and combined with other media. Metal can exude a sterile character, in that it can seem sleek, clean and futuristic. Or it can reflect a more industrial vibe, with rougher edges, utilitarian shapes and muted finishes.

Metal sculpture can echo shapes and forms commonly found in nature, or otherworldly lines and nonspecific patterns inspired by imagination. It can engender stillness and coolness or evoke motion and heat. It simultaneously makes and receives impressions.

Online you can find a variety of metallic decor. Some pieces are truly abstract and geometric, while others reflect popular culture and urban kitsch. Not for everyone, understandably, but distinct, interesting and worth exploring.