Sculpture in wrought-iron or metal modelling
It was obvious that metal would become my favourite material in my creations because in my “former life” I was active in machine building, construction, etc.
Because I work directly with steel, iron, stainless steel, brass, etc with a technique related to forging we could speak about forgings. Because of the creation instant in the metal the permanent vision of the basic idea has to go hand in hand with the excecution of the craft and that is why I sometimes speak of -modeling with metal-.
When P. Picasso experimented with scrap in the early 1900's, he announced “the art of assembly”.
Another Spanish artist from that period, namely J. Gonzales who was very familiar with metal, made by welding and forging realistic and abstract sculpture. Even A. Gaudi laid out a sculptural design in his design for the forge-work of his buildings. So we see essentially iron and steel appear in art as never before.
In the United States, before and after World War II, we find welding, hammering and grinding/ polishing passionately and this art was called metal-work. Kahlil Gibran's work is a wonderfull example of this period from my vieuwpoint. In our country we should not forget Lodewijk Van Boeckel. Although he is remembered as a blacksmith, he takes a special place with his animal figures.
In the very beginning of my carreer I was very attracted by the forging work of the old masters, a few centuries ago. It is just more than decoration what can be found there. In the Japanese master-forging in ancient times we see an introvert beauty with a sence of a higher order. At that time there was no question of fragmentary abstraction as an art form. Of course Art- Nouveau, Jugend-still and Art-Deco attracted me because of the particularly decorative content.
The portrait fascinated me and I searched a manner to realise it in hammered and welded steel and this methode was also applied along other work of my collection. If casting technically is possible sometimes bronze casts are made from the original works in steel. As a collector's item the model made before the cast is therefore much more attractive for the collector.
With an attempt not to be involved in my work with political and social issues, philosofical theories and an -ism of any what , beauty is in my mind. When people are inspired by my work, I consider this as a merit.
Jef De Cock