Portfolio | Sculptors

Kiss on a Horse, bronze, h13., sculpture, southwest art.
Kiss on a Horse, bronze, h13

Simon Kogan

It’s difficult to categorize the work of Simon Kogan. His sculptures range from roughly shaped, whimsical poses to sleek, graceful renditions: A figure might be straddling a giant stone wheel, his arms and legs sprawled in a spread-eagle position in naive exuberance. Another softer, more serious piece depicts a mother holding a baby at her hip.

“Expect the unexpected” could be Kogan’s mantra—he says the unpredictability of his art is at the very core of its creation. “I’m not in charge of my own product; I’m just the tool,” says the Russian-born, West Coast-based sculptor. “I’m actually proud of that,” he continues, attesting that his artwork speaks to him and in essence creates itself.

Before moving to the United States in 1991, Kogan spent 13 years in Moscow as an apprentice to Isaac Brodsky. When Brodsky finally “christened” Kogan with the title of artist, he asked him, “Do you know what it means to be an artist? Now you’ll be signing your works—it’s responsibility.” The weight of this statement never escapes Kogan, whose technique and execution are meticulous.

House Call [2000], bronze, 8 x 31⁄2 x 31⁄2, edition 18., sculpture, southwest art.
House Call [2000], bronze, 8 x 31⁄2 x 31⁄2, edition 18.

“I aim in my art for the eternity,” he says. “The themes I work with are universal—good and bad, love and hate. The only thing that changes over time is how we respond to these themes. I try to get to that so-called truth.”  —LB

Kogan is represented by Fire-Art Foundry, San Diego, CA; Sunburst Gallery, Cheln, WA; and Amby Edinger Art Gallery, Ellensburg, WA.

Pati Stajcar

Pati Stajcar sculpts many different animals—horses, peacocks, buffalo, wolves—but birds are her specialty. “I’ve always loved them, ever since I was a kid,” she says. “I guess it’s the freedom they represent. I think they’re all beautiful.” She has a special affection, though, for the eagles, hawks, owls, and falcons she works with as a volunteer at the Raptor Education Foundation in Aurora, CO. Stajcar spends time checking and weighing the birds, treating their injuries when necessary, and helping train them for programs at schools, festivals, and other events that the foundation sponsors to teach biodiversity and encourage the preservation of bird habitats. “Working with the raptors is entirely different from just watching them,” she says. “I get to learn about their social structure, about how smart they are.”

Strata, rock, steel, wood, 53 x 28 x 28, edition 9., sculpture, southwest art.
Strata, rock, steel, wood, 53 x 28 x 28, edition 9.

Stajcar’s subject is the natural world, but the qualities of flow and balance are her main concerns. Her work includes elements of both representation and abstraction—a combination she has achieved in a variety of media, ranging from wood to stone to bronze. “I get bored easily,” she jokes. “My favorite media is whatever I’m not working on at the time.” Stajcar started out working with wood; later she wanted to learn to sculpt stone, and in 1990 she began     a two-year apprenticeship with sculptor Gerald Balciar. Today she herself teaches at the Art Students League of Denver. Her work has been included in the annual Birds in Art and Society of Animal Artists exhibitions.  —KB

Stajcar is represented by Saks Gallery, Denver, CO; Rio Street Gallery, Ruidoso, NM; Sculpture Works, Fort Worth, TX; and Lidee Corporate Art Concepts, Cincinnati, OH.

Bruce Gueswel

Almost all of Bruce Gueswel’s work incorporates the human figure. “Primarily I depict the figure

Mary [1994], glass, bronze, stone, 29 x 41 x 18., sculpture, southwest art.
Mary [1994], glass, bronze, stone, 29 x 41 x 18.

because making and appreciating art is so exclusively human,” he says. “Responding to the light and shadow on skin and balanced bones is infinitely diverse and fascinating.” To create his figures, which are often sitting or crouching, Gueswel has used a surprising variety of materials—rocks, steel, bronze, stone, wood, cast iron, glass, concrete, rope, terra cotta, and chains, among other things. Lately, though, rocks have become his favorite. He gathers them himself from quarries, highway construction areas, or old mines. “I believe that deity and beauty reside in nature,” Gueswel says, “so I use natural materials as my main medium.” In addition, he says, “I think that we as a culture are fractured. My sculpted bodies are fragile, assembled broken fragments.”

Otter Moon, bronze, 20 x 20 x 11., sculpture, southwest art.
Otter Moon, bronze, 20 x 20 x 11.

Gueswel makes molds of his pieces, much like the molds used for bronze casting, which allow him to explore the same image repeatedly using different materials. He did just that for a solo show, Reliquaries for Our Sacred Feminine, at the Wyoming State Museum in 1994. The show comprised 13 goddesses from various cultures around the world; each piece was based on the same image but composed of materials appropriate to the mythology surrounding the goddess. Mary, for example, comes from Europe circa 1200 A.D. and is made of stained glass; Nu Kwa comes from Northern China circa 2500 B.C. and is made of raku clay and copper wire.  —KB
Gueswel is represented by Columbine Gallery, Loveland, CO, and Santa Fe, NM.

Harvest Moon Ball, bronze, 23 x 19 x 11., sculpture, southwest art.
Harvest Moon Ball, bronze, 23 x 19 x 11.

Georgia Gerber
Georgia Gerber often sculpts whimsical scenes of dancing rabbits, playful seals, and proud pigs. A lifelong animal lover, she started sculpting at an early age. “One of my first pieces was a life-size model of our pet Chihuahua,” the Washington-based artist says.

Raised in Chester County, PA, Gerber attended Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA, where she helped professor William Lasansky design a casting method that skips the costly and time-consuming rubber molding step, a method she still employs. Today, she owns and operates her own foundry in Clinton, WA, on Whidbey Island, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and a menagerie of dogs and horses.

Though her commission career is flourishing—she’s booked two years in advance and has pieces on display across the United States and as far away as Tokyo—Gerber still finds time to work on smaller projects, including her series of dancing rabbits. Inspired by the long, sinuous lines of their bodies, the series includes rabbits waltzing, doing the hokey pokey, and in a deep tango pose. “I’m not as interested in creating an exact replica of an animal; I’m more interested in creating an artistic expression,” she says. “Nature’s already done a good job with these

Picasso Cat, bronze, 21 x 151⁄2 x 6., sculpture, southwest art.
Picasso Cat, bronze, 21 x 151⁄2 x 6.

animals—I feel like I need to add something of my own.”  —AH

Gerber is represented by Gallery Mack, Seattle, WA; Gallery Mack’s Art Connection, Palm Desert, CA; Gaskill/Olson Gallery, Langley, WA; and Lawrence Gallery, Sheridan, OR.

Sharon Loper

Sharon Loper considers her textured bronze sculptures to be close in sensibility to works of the expressionist movement that surfaced in Germany after World War II. “The expressionist artists changed the way sculpture was viewed from a decorative art to work expressing feelings,” Loper says. “My work is about feelings, and I try to convey the power of thought and the human capacity to feel and think.”

Interior #5, Isolation, bronze, life-size., sculpture, southwest art.
Interior #5, Isolation, bronze, life-size.

The provocative bronze sculpture Interiors #5, Isolation is one in a series of pieces the sculptor created after intensive research on body language. “With the series I wanted to express the feelings and emotions people have, ranging from their insecurities to their triumphs,” Loper says. Her silent figures are unsentimental yet evoke complex emotional states.
In her animal sculpture such as Picasso Cat, Loper says she is inspired by her feelings of respect and love for creatures. “Humans are not always what I would like them to be, but animals seem kind of perfect by comparison and completely honest,” she says. Loper lives in Los Angeles, CA, and has a studio near downtown in The Brewery, a complex of buildings that has spaces for more than 200 writers and visual artists.

Loper’s piece Interiors #5, Isolation is currently in an exhibit through 2001 at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ.  —BG

Circles, bronze, 12 x 6 x 9,edition 50., sculpture, southwest art.
Circles, bronze, 12 x 6 x 9,edition 50.

Loper is represented by I. Wolk Gallery, St. Helena, CA; Phyllis Weil & Company, New York, NY; Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ; Gallery 5, New York, NY; and Figuration Critique, Paris, France.

Donald Riggs

From the window of his living room, Donald Riggs can see the Pacific Ocean and a beach that stretches for 20 miles. Lured by the pristine beauty of the landscape, Riggs recently moved to Rio del Mar, CA, a picturesque village in Northern California. Beauty is a necessity in his life and his art, the sculptor says. “When I work I always want to create something beautiful so that when viewers runs their hands or eyes over the piece, they get a feeling of fulfillment and deep pleasure,” he says. The native Californian creates figures, animals, masks, and abstract works in bronze. In Tranquility, a large-scale figurative piece, a woman looks down at the floor as if in prayer. “The idea is that peace is something we give ourselves,” Riggs says. “The sculpture is a symbol of that inner nourishment.”

Tranquility, bronze, 72 x 24 x 14, edition 25., sculpture, southwest art.
Tranquility, bronze, 72 x 24 x 14, edition 25.

In contrast, Circles is a more sensuous abstract form. “A piece like Circles gives me more freedom to allow my right brain to take over and follow feelings and lines spontaneously,” he says. “The process is almost a meditation for me.”

Riggs is fond of all periods of art from ancient to contemporary, and he surrounds himself at home with works by favorite contemporary California artists. “I believe art is as important to our souls as air, food, and water are to our bodies,” Riggs says.  —BG

Riggs is represented by Coda Gallery, Palm Desert, CA, Park City, UT, and New York, NY; and Gaun Fine Art, Scottsdale, AZ.

Rick Jackson

Texan Rick Jackson has always been interested in the permanence of images created in metal. For the past 20 years sculpting has been his full-time career, but it all started purely by accident, he says. “I couldn’t afford to buy sculpture, so I decided to try to make one myself,” says Jackson. He visited a small foundry down the road from his home, received some instruction, and before long had produced two small busts of a cowboy and an Indian. Jackson thought the busts “weren’t all that bad,” but when a friend took the pieces to a gallery for a critique, they received less than enthusiastic reviews. The negative feedback spurred Jackson to prove himself, which he did, selling his third piece at a cattle raisers’ auction.

Today Jackson’s western sculpture is in demand with collectors; he also stays busy doing monumental commission work. “What keeps me sculpting is the fact that I can’t master it,” he says. “I’ve had lots of jobs in my life, but after a point I knew everything about them that I wanted to know. With art, you never get where you want to be.”  —MB

Jackson is represented by Ray Tracey Galleries, Santa Fe, NM; Carol Henderson Gallery, Fort Worth, TX; and Fenton’s Gallery,

Free Spirit, bronze, 22 x 8 x 16, edition 15., sculpture, southwest art.
Free Spirit, bronze, 22 x 8 x 16, edition 15.

Sally Kimp

Sally Kimp was born in a log cabin and grew up in the Idaho panhandle near the Priest River. She is a self-taught artist who began her career making small sculptures of children fishing. Kimp also developed a keen interest in Indian cultures and began sculpting Native American figures in clay. In 1986, she was ready for a major life change: She longed to experience the southwestern landscape. So Kimp packed her sculpting tools and headed for Arizona. “I wanted to see if I could make a living creating art, so I wanted to be close to an art center like Scottsdale or Sedona,” Kimp says. She chose the town of Prescott, which is near both art centers. It wasn’t long after her move that a gallery asked to represent her work.

Kimp’s interest in Native American culture has sustained the test of time, but in 1993 the artist

Agua Fria, bronze, 22 x 24 x 21, edition 15., sculpture, southwest art.
Agua Fria, bronze, 22 x 24 x 21, edition 15.

switched mediums, from stoneware-fired clay to bronze. Today she is known for her elegant forms and sympathetic portrayals of women. Her graceful bronze Navajo and Hopi figures like Waterwoman and Summer Moon evoke inner strength and dignity. “I want to portray the uncluttered life of hard work in the fields,” Kimp says. “The Native American women are connected to the earth and the simple things in life.” Meanwhile, Kimp has built a house and studio on top of a scenic Prescott hillside. Her move to Arizona to pursue her dreams of a life in art has proved a rewarding one, she says.  —BG

Kimp is represented by Bronze Coast Gallery, Cannon Beach, OR; Mockingbird Gallery, Bend, OR; Holoman Gallery, Colorado Springs,


New Mexico sculptor Guilloume likes to keep things simple. “I like pure lines,” he says. “I like round shapes. I like people. So I’ve been working with the human being.” Making use of geometric forms and minimal detail, the Colombian-born artist creates polished figurative sculptures that emphasize universal human qualities. “I don’t use details on the faces,” he says. “When you

Waterwoman, bronze, h18, edition 5., sculpture, southwest art.
Waterwoman, bronze, h18, edition 5.

have faces, you start to see differences.” Through ambiguity, he is interested in eliciting feelings of unity among his viewers.

Guilloume has been a full-time artist for 26 years. He trained at the Bellas Artes Institute in Colombia and today exhibits regularly in the United States and South America. Known also for his simplistic figurative paintings, Guilloume employs in all his work what he calls bollismo, an emotional style of simple forms, textures, and movements that evokes a range of feelings. When sculpting he often uses clay that allows him to do the work without a mold; thus, the foundry melts out an original. Guilloume then does all the welding, chasing, and patina and metal work himself. About 75 percent of his sculptures are one of a kind.  —LB

Kevin Robb

Colorado sculptor Kevin Robb grew up spending summers on his grandfather’s farm, where he learned to weld and would build things with found objects for fun. “I didn’t realize I was creating art,” he says.

He went on to study graphic design and then worked in advertising but before long felt his

Summer Moon, bronze, h13., sculpture, southwest art.
Summer Moon, bronze, h13.

career was “flat and missing something.” One day a friend who worked at a foundry invited Robb to watch a bronze pour. Robb was immediately enthralled and began working at the foundry part time, then full time, and eventually started creating his own sculpture. He has now been a sculptor for 20 years.
Robb’s first pieces were realistic cowboy images, but he soon moved into abstract work. His sculpture is not created according to a set plan—he doesn’t sketch out a design in advance. The placement of each component of the piece is an answer to a question of relationships, which he discovers as the work is in progress. “Some people peg me as a contemporary classicist,” he says. “My work is abstract but still accessible to viewers.”  —MB

Robb is represented by Moxley Ross Naranjo, Santa Fe, NM; Coda Gallery, Palm Desert, CA; and MacLaren Markowitz Gallery, Boulder, CO.

Featured in “Portfolio” July 2000

Compadres, bronze, 16 x 19 x 8., sculpture, southwest art.
Compadres, bronze, 16 x 19 x 8.

A Fine Man, bronze, 38 x 14 x 12., sculpture, southwest art.
A Fine Man, bronze, 38 x 14 x 12.

Toy Blocks, stainless steel, 121 x 40 x 32., sculpture, southwest art.
Toy Blocks, stainless steel, 121 x 40 x 32.