Steve Tobin In The 90s

Steve Tobin in the 90's
Steve often uses materials from abandoned industrial sites. The seeds of the pinecone are paddles that churn molten iron at the Bethlehem steel mills.
Steve Tobin in the 90's
The core is the inner casing of a curved pipe.
Steve Tobin in the 90's
One of a few narrative works that Steve made in the 90s, the untitled “creature” stands atop a life-size tortoise and scampers ahead of a trailing lawn tractor tire—all cast in bronze. He’s made up of human legs and feet, a deer’s ribcage and head, connected by a human spinal column, also bronze casts. Even the crown or cap on his head consists of tiny individual casts of turtle fry, all spot welded together. Spectacular piece.
Steve Tobin in the 90's
Art grows on me, and this earliest of Steve’s bronze roots does especially. The realistic form, proportion, size, proximity to our field oak and rust color evoke elegiac feelings.
Steve Tobin in the 90's

Steve Tobin in the 90's

‘Syntax’, at left, consists of thousands of metal letters and numbers from an old sign and print shop that had gone out of business. There are even a few symbols such as # and $ and %. The effect is a “head” full of the elements of meaning. The upper half features a labyrinthine vortex that reminds me of the finale in Poe’s Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym. A favorite with guests over the last three months, its blue-green color shifts throughout the day and it resembles topiary. On the right is the southeast corner tip of the Happiness Garden, with Aster oblongifolius ‘Raydon’s Favorite’ in bloom.
Steve Tobin in the 90's
Part of what inspired Steve to make the “creature”.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 4th, 2008 at 6:26 pm and is filed under Original Posts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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7 Responses to “Steve Tobin In The 90s”

  1. Those are some of the coolest sculptures I’ve ever seen. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Georgia said:

    I love reading your blog and your art is phenomenal, tho’t of selling any.

  3. Those are beyond words! My goodness, the creativity and the talent to create the art sculptures.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Defining Your Home Garden

  4. KM said:

    I won’t comment on the merit of the sculptures except to say that if they make you happy that’s all that matters. I’d prefer to look at the trees without distractions, but I’m weird. Speaking of which, I notice the sculptures are probably very heavy and a few seem very close to some wonderful trees. Pardon if you’ve discussed the problem of soil compaction on tree roots, but most are oblivious to it.

    It’s extremely important not to allow heavy trucks to drive under the tree branches, which defines the minimum area of roots that must be protected. As you know, tree roots extend some ways beyond the spread of branches (dripline) so trucks and other heavy stuff should be kept as far away as possible.

    It’s a complex issue, but the basics are simple. Tree roots and soil organisms they depend on require oxygen and some way to get rid of C02. Compacting the soil reduces the air spaces between soil particles, causing slow asphyxiation. Decline and eventual death is often the result, but not so fast that the cause and effect is obvious. Norway and sugar maple, and most oaks are among the most sensitive species. London plane trees are among the most tolerant of compaction.

    Here in NYC, public art placers seem oblivious to the issue, and frequently place their heaviest ‘pieces’ next to and under the oldest and most beautiful trees. And we have relatively so few (trees)! Thanks.

  5. George said:

    Actually, you’re probably not weird; many folks have been either unhappy or neutral about the artwork. To each his own, I say. Regarding the weight of the large ones, fear not. Notice that all, and especially the giants, are set apart from almost everything. In one case–the Sunflower–it’s about 20 feet from an old beech. However, it rests widely on several feet, so I doubt there is a dangerous level of soil compaction. The rest of the small to medium sized pieces are either extraordinarily light or of no substantial weight that would affect the soil any more than, say, a large rock would. But thanks for your concern, and for reading the blog. I love New York City, especially the outer boroughs, which are much more appealing and diverse than when I was a teenager and first got to know Manhattan.

  6. KM said:

    Glad to hear it, George. Thank you!

  7. helena said:

    Oh this looks great! There these pieces located?
    We are lucky to have some works of Steve Tobin here in NJ – at Gardens for Sculpture.

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