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ROBERT TOLL

Sculptor

Aleppo Series

 
 
 

Other Works

Public Sculptures

Artist statement

 

At age 21, I started making sculptures. It was the first thing in my short life, that inspired  me, held my interest, hypnotized me, and would make me think about ideas and the engineering behind creating objects. I was in love.

The first series of sculptures I created were trees, made from welded steel. My first showing was at an outdoor art show in Torrance, CA, which I was asked to participate. I went home, put two picnic benches in my car, had 9 sculptures and went off to sell. I was asking $37 for a sculpture. A man offered me $17.50 and that was my first sale.

It made me realize that I could build something with my hands, and someone would buy it. It gave me a great feeling of comfort.

For my first 15 years as a sculptor, I was learning my craft. Every day was a new learning experience. I would never call myself a “sculptor”. I didn’t believe I had earned the title.

After 20 years, my work moved in the direction of figurative and representational work. I learned anatomy by hanging medical posters in front of the toilet. Sitting there, I would study and draw and learn the human figure.

By this time my feeling that my abilities as a welder and engineer were secure, it gave me confidence that I could make anything. It was the start  of me creating male and females figures with materials unique to myself.

When I finished my first figure, it pleased me, not just with the proportions and aesthetic of the piece, but it seemed to capture a mood and an internal feeling from pieces of cold hard steel. My style was unique; it was completely my own. It made me realize, that I had this ability with every piece completed, I was able to transfer feeling. At this point, after 24 years, I was finally worthy of calling myself a “sculptor”. I was 43 and had my first major show at Caroline Fleck Gallery in Aspen, CA. The show sold out and generated four commissions. Offers continued to roll requesting shows in Los Angeles and other cities. I won public commissions and have 5 public pieces of art on display. My work has been collected and commissioned by major hotels, law office, corporate and private collectors. This ability to express these emotions through my work holds true to me, whether  it’s a horse, a bull, a piece  silverware, abstract pieces, or furniture

Over the years I continually explored new ideas; figuratively, representational, kinetic, abstract, and conceptual.

Two years ago I left Los Angeles and moved to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.I set up a new studio here and have been working constantly. I thought living in another culture would take my work in new directions which it has.

I’m 69 and still have that childish curiosity and ideas in my head that I want to say through my work. I figure I have at least 10 years left in me to create though the work is physically. The my plan is to continue to work with less demanding materials.

Resume upon request