Doug Makemson is a Georgia artist creating one of a kind scrap metal sculptures of animals and figures from monumental to table and wall size.
His work is representational, made from scrap steel, stainless steel, copper, cast iron, chrome steel, with the occasional aluminum and brass. Principal forming methods include electric welding, hydraulic shearing, oxy-acetylene cutting, welding and brazing, hammering, and grinding. The raw material is obtained from businesses, scrap yards, and farming activities. The use of thick and non-corrosive material ensures that the sculptures will last when exposed to the elements. While using metal as a raw material, the challenge is to create sculptures that seem alive. One way this is achieved is through implied motion. A cocked head, an open mouth, an asymmetrical stance all breathe life into the animal or figure. During the process the pieces develop individual personalities. The character of the raw material is retained in the finished work, so that from a distance one sees the form of a creature in the landscape, but as one gets closer the parts become recognizable as more or less familiar objects from our industrial culture. This stimulates the viewer’s sense of wonder and imagination. The work has been very popular when installed in public places; children especially are captivated by the large beasts. One message in my work is that there is value to be found in objects and people that our culture deems worthless, if we will look for it. I hope that my work will make you smile.
"Swooping" Brooklyn Bridge Park, New York 2009