Client: Dr.Khuram Sial in Los Angeles
Location: Los Angeles, SC, United States
Completion date: 2016
Artwork budget: $15,000
A spine doctor found me online and asked if I'd make a human vertebra conference table with each vertebra made in forged steel,but with a contrasting stainless steel frame.After completing the initial piece which was 2 times life size the client asked if I could make another one 4 times life size,to which I agreed.This second work took 6 months.
The client owns and runs several pain clinics and these conference tables were intended to not just be a dramatic artwork but also to help educate the patient and act as an instructional tool the Doctor can use to show the client where the problem is on their body by using the sculpture as a model.
The client left pretty much everything up to me after outlining their rough visualization for the piece.In truth I'd been waiting many years for the right client to invest in my exploration of sculpting human bones in steel.I hired my best friend and collaborator David Hamilton who is a full-on blacksmith as well as an artist,teacher and contractor.My studio is a "fabrication shop" where the many pieces of a project come together and get WELDED together.David and I are occasional teachers at The Academy of Art in San Francisco.
We forged 75% of each vertebra in David's studio then I welded the remaining parts to each in my studio.Obviously this required a fair amount of study,3D imaging,taking paper patterns from each vertebra,and a close attention to scale and overall composition.The first table was sort of like our dress rehearsal for the much larger second one which is about 10 feet long.It will have LED lighting installed (by the client) when the piece is placed in the new clinic which is being built as we speak.