Thoughts and Quotes on Casting

Over the past several years I have been working with the metal casting process to create my sculpture.  The sources for my work are drawn from the landscape and the processes that have formed it, the scale and power of industry, and the effect that environmental forces have on human ordering, ranging from remote ancient ruins to urban archeology.

I see the processes and elements used to shape metal in the foundry as a metaphor for the forces that have shaped and are shaping our environment.

 What interests me most about a cast object is its fossil like nature:  its ability to retain and convey information.

 My most recent castings address the way creative forces in nature shape material; comparing time and material.  Wood fragments blown from trees struck by lightning, boulders worn by glaciers and water, and currently hybrid oversized gourds have been used for patterns for the castings.

In some instances the actual natural object is shown in context to the metal casting ... bring into question...  both realities.

 Quotations on casting:

On strikes - "The relationship of earth and sky is fundamental in much of Ruppert’s work, and he explores it in both his photographs and his “Lightning Strike” series. Inspired by a shattered piece of pine he found while walking in the woods, the latter works on a theme familiar in art as well as in folklore—the tree as a conduit between the two realms. In his bronze or iron castings of wood splintered by lightning, the strength and structure of the growing tree are faithfully reproduced in the details of its wood grain. The violent power of the lightning is also plain to see, particularly in the gleam of a polished edge in “Bronze Wall Strike.” Curiously, the effect is a simultaneous evocation of the tree, the lightning and the devastating instant of impact."  

On Rocks - "A rock sits on the gallery floor side by side with its twin, a copy of itself cast in iron. Would you look at the shadowy concavities, craggy angles and weightiness of this rock as closely if it sat alone? Staged with its duplicate, it invites puzzling out the differences between its grainy mineral textures and the faintly velvety rusting surface of the casting. The intense heat of molten metal comes to mind, but how does that compare with the unimaginable fiery temperatures and pressures that formed the rock? And which is more interesting, the rock or its manmade facsimile?"   Mary McCoy

 Art in America,  "Most recently, with his "Pumpkin Series," Ruppert began an investigation of organic from: here, a ponderous, 600-pound gourd is frozen in time, its mass memorized in an edition of five cast-and welded aluminum replicas that testify to nature’s fecundity"

 "Although these works depart from the artist’s earlier celebrations of metallurgy, they still exhibit traces of their manufacture, in welded seams and excess metal the curls from the surface like peeling skin."          Sue Taylor

The Baltimore Sun, "he has arranged the rock and the two cast pieces as a three part sculpture.  This treatment raises the rock to the status of icon and blurs the boundaries between what’s art and what is not.  The real rock becomes art, and in doing so imitates both itself and the art made from it."          John Dorsey        

Chicago Tribune,  "This, I think, is the source of their [metal castings] modernity, for they are always in the process of change, at some times visible, at others times just below the threshold of the viewer perception.  In a sense these pieces are "about" the abrasion of time, the most powerful of all natural forces,"        Alan Artner