Bill Reid

2014 RAM Artist Fellowship Winner

Artist Statement

I have been making metal sculptures with an oxyacetylene torch for over 30 years. Geologically speaking a short time, but now becoming a significant section of my life.

My process of working is elemental; using only a few hand tools and the heat of the torch I build my creatures out of thin sheets of metal and steel rods. Even as a young boy, I was drawn to the siren call of fire. Like a detective, I turn on the heat until the steel talks. Welders wear dark glasses and are required to be comfortable in the dark.

After construction, the painting process brings the work to life. Painting has become an increasingly important aspect of the work. My sculptures are built around stories and word-play. Like an astronomer, I try to make sense out of the faint sparks of light out in the universe.

Often, the works become moving experiences with the addition of mechanical movement activated by turning wheels or hand cranks. Other times they become instruments of music with the addition of strings to strum or drums to play. Some beasts become working attendants who can serve you in your bathroom or kitchen and others become messengers of light. I give them nice clothes and stylish shoes in an effort to give them more respect.

As far as directions to go, I have in my mind a desire to make an anvillage (a series of houses in the shape of anvils on wheels). Each one would be a store selling things relating to our Wisconsin experience. Of course, the populace will be hammered. Examples of things available would be black market deer crossing signs, dust bunnies, holes of all sizes and colors, Paul Bunion statues, and other tearabull ideas.

Visit beebomb.com for more information about this artist.

 

Conversation in the Studio
Bill Reid and RAM's Curator of Exhibitions Lena Vigna

Bill Reid
Watermelion, 2011
Painted steel
53 x 36 x 17 inches
Photography Courtesy of the Artist
Bill Reid
Anvil Family, 2012
Painted steel
18 x 15 x 8 inches
Photography Courtesy of the Artist
Bill Reid
Piper of the Gates, 2011
Painted steel
26 x 21 x 10 inches
Photography Courtesy of the Artist
Bill Reid
Circa 1968, 2012-13
Oil on canvas
40 x 30 inches
Photography Courtesy of the Artist
Bill Reid
Snowy Owl Early Warning System, 2012
Painted steel
25 x 17 x 9 inches
Photography Courtesy of the Artist
Bill Reid
Tall Tales of Captain Arabbit, 2010
Painted steel
53 x 16 x 18 inches
Photography Courtesy of the Artist