Tyrel Johnson's Beauty and the Beast

The artist explores the interaction between people and animals in cast bronze and wood

Bronze, maple burl and wenge
23 x 13 x 6 inches
Five in an edition of 50

THE ARTIST Tyrel Johnson

KNOWN FOR Explorations of the dramatic interaction between people and animals, in cast bronze and wood.

A FAMILY OF MAKERS “I’m the youngest of 16, and we were all supported by my father’s artwork as well as his foundry. As a kid, I used to watch my father sculpt, and my siblings. I always thought that I would be an artist. We were kind of a maker family; we would make anything we set our mind to.”

ANATOMY LESSONS “I spent about seven years meticulously studying human anatomy by sculpting the skeletal structure and then applying each muscle one at a time. I was a carpenter and I ran a crew, so I would come home and put a handful of muscles on the skeleton every night until it was done. I did the full human body seven times over.”

THE POWER OF POSITIVITY “In my art I’ve used a lot of women and children. A lot of that comes from having a great deal of respect for my mother. The feminine of the world is a   powerful thing and a positive thing in general. I want to bring positive storytelling from my perspective.”

ANIMALS AND HUMANS “Taking two things that wouldn’t normally be in that situation and putting them together, it seems like a good way to tell a story. For example, Gratitude was a piece that I did for a show that was based around Thanksgiving. I thought, why not have a humble buffalo bowing in acceptance of the gratitude from the Native American woman who is wearing his robe?”

PEACE “As a child I was the kid that would try to stop another kid from hurting a spider. I actually hope that that resonates in my work—the peacefulness, the beauty.”

NEXT Johnson is working on larger-scale pieces, including a horse, a lynx and an expanded version of Gratitude.

Categories: Artists & Artisans