Friday Friend – Eliseo

Our studio is located in a great neighborhood known as the Design District.  Some of our neighbors rank among the most creative people in the city.  Today’s Friday Friend is Eliseo, our neighbor two buildings down from the studio.  Eliseo is an international sculptor honored by the State of Texas as the 2009 3D Visual Artist of the Year for his creations in stone and steel. Eliseo creates amazing large public art, works in metal and is a great painter. He involves the public in a lot of his work.  People who know nothing about art to people who are experts are invited to his studio to help carve along side him.  We always know when a large flat bed semi is rolling down our street with a huge piece of stone on the bed that magic is about to happen.

Name:  Eliseo

Current Location: Dallas, Texas

Day Job:  Sculptor (Stone, Metal, Bronze)

Guilty Pleasure:  During the hot summer months when it’s too hot to carve in the middle of the day, I like to occasionally take a break from the studio and go to the movie theater to see an adventure or horror movie.

Favorite meal: I’m not very sophisticated when it comes to food.  Mexican and Chinese food are great, but I really can eat pizza just about any time.

What inspires you? Most of my work is inspired by family, my heritage, spirituality, and nuances in nature.  I’m also constantly inspired by feelings – feelings that I have about my relationships with others and relationships I sense between others.  My hopes are that my artwork will promote philosophical, psychological, and spiritual exploration.

What art do you most identify with? I like to look and walk around three-dimensional forms, so I kind of gravitate toward many types and styles of sculpture. On the other hand, I’m also a painter, so I also identify with large-scale figurative or abstract paintings.

 What is your strongest childhood memory? The tornado that hit Dallas in April of 1957.  We were living in West Dallas and I remember my single mom was at work when the tornado touched down.  My sister, brother, and I, along with many other people, were running house to house, street to street, trying to get to a ditch by the West Trinity levee with the tornado bearing down on us.  I was nine years old, but  I’ve never forgotten that experience.

What music are you currently listening to?  I constantly change the stations on my radio looking for music that will jump start my energy as I work throughout the day.  The music that inspires me while I work is as varied as my artwork; I paint and I sculpt, and my work is both figurative and abstract.  Likewise, I enjoy all types of music. My favorite music, though, is from the 50s-60s era, as well as Ranchera and Bolero music, which always make me want to dance while I work.

What are you passionate about?  I have a personal saying that states, “I create to create.”  I know it probably doesn’t make sense, but it’s my way of expressing my belief that true art comes from the heart.  It is important to work spontaneously and effortlessly, and let go of the mental and emotional limitations that keep me from creating artwork which lacks substance, meaning, and spirit.

A place that you think desperately needs public art?  This may sound crazy, but since it won’t be for pedestrians, wouldn’t it be great to install some form of figurative three-dimensional sculpture at both of the entrances of the Margaret Hunt Hill  Bridge designed by Santiago Calatrava?  Maybe even sprinkle a few on the bridge?  Art purists would probably shudder at the thought, but what better way to seal the bridging “connection” concept of downtown Dallas with the West Dallas community?

 What else should we know about you?  My family and close friends know that I’m really a shy person.  I have to work hard to be social and outgoing.  I love to dance but I’m a terrible dancer.   As for my art, there are more subtle meanings in my work than most people think.  For example, a Mother and Child sculpture may seem simply an expression of universal love, but it can also be interpreted as a symbol or metaphor for the relationship between Mother Earth, Humanity, and our place.

You can read more about Eliseo and his work on his website

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