Forged, formed and fabricated weathering steel
36'h x 130'w x 8'd
St. Louis Zoo, Forrest Park, St. Louis, Missouri
Animals Always is a large-scale exterior gateway sculpture at the entrance to the St. Louis Zoo. Weighing in at over 107 tons this work contains the likeness of 50+ animals that can be found in the zoo. The Project was designed, built and installed over a five year period of time.
"Usually people think of metal in its industrial state—bars and rods and plates—but metal is very plastic. It can be formed and shaped into anything: cold, through hydraulic bending, or by heating it to a yellow state. People are amazed at how fluid the steel is in my work, how alive it seems. On one side these tendril ribbon shapes are woven through the structure to indicate water, and I had to make solid steel seem translucent.
All my other work is abstract, nonliteral. This time I was using technology to create a visual, literal vocabulary. You cut a piece of steel and it has an edge, but if you cut it a certain way, it can look like fur or feathers. Serpentine forms become a snake weaving through a jungle or a fish swimming in the ocean."