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The Shifting Dream, The Steel Sculpture of Robert Spinazzola
This is my 35th. year of making sculpture.  My works are three-dimensional steel drawings.  I began to make metal art in a Cass
Corridor studio in Detroit, Michigan in 1975.  The first works were created from discarded motorcycle parts and salvaged steel. By the
end of my first year, I stopped gas welding and began to electric weld my pieces together and still do.  I choose to recycle metal from
roadsides and scrap heaps because bringing new life to waste metal is tangential to my personal economic and social philosophies.  I
see this material as singularly beautiful and precious.
Change 1
Out of reverence to the natural world, much of my work describes animal forms created with the mechanical
refuse of the 20th century. Mankind has made visual representations of nature since the beginning of human
culture as exemplified by cave drawings.  It is the ongoing exploration of man's relationship to nature, which
created him; what he has created from nature; and the resulting impact on both.  This is the link, where my
work begins: our earliest and closest bond, Mother Nature and mankind's effect upon her.
Beginning in 1990, I created the first of my sculptures about the changing economic and social environment of Detroit,
Michigan. SAUVAGE 1990, (Ça Va), uses a horse skeleton, galloping atop a machine with a broken drive wheel.
Detroit symbolized the economic dynamo that sustained the working class for forty years, which now began to change
and falter.  The large American automotive corporations, with an eye focused only on stockholder short-term gains,
shifted direction to cost cutting and outsourcing.  The increasing power of smaller high quality Asian imports was left to
thrive while the big three automakers concentrated on larger, more profitable car and truck lines.  The looming
petroleum shortages and the wisdom to visualize future market needs were generally abandoned.  The downward
economic spiral of the Midwest industries has created devastation upon hundreds of thousands of auto related
workers including members of my own family. Now twenty years later, events in the industrial heartland coupled with
the greed of Wall Street and banking firms have impacted the nation as a whole.  I feel that these sculptures about
Detroit continue to be the most important of my career.  Other sculptures about Detroit's decline have followed over the
years: SAUVAGE G. (Gates of Eden 1991); SAUVAGE LB. (Layoff Bingo 1993); SAUVAGE H., (Highway 61 1994);
SAUVAGE LV. La Ville Industrielle fin de Siecle 2007), SAUVAGE FR. Font of Remembrance 2009) and SAUVAGE
DE. Detroit Entre Les Deux Lacs 2010).
All my steel sculptures created since 1981 have the beginning title of SAUVAGE, (wild), linking them to Detroit’s
French history.
Le Detroit Entre Deux Lacs 2010
Le Detroit Entre Les Deux Lacs. 2010, 80"h. x 48"w. x 54"d. steel with oil. The new sculpture shown is my six in the exploration of
my hometown, Detroit, Michigan, and the auto industry. In this piece, the viewer may interact with handles, knobs, the disk brake
components and the house which rotates. The water tanks, (which represent lakes St. Claire and Huron), are connected to each
other but not the free standing industrial assemblage.
SAUVAGE D. 1990,
La Ville Industrielle fin de Siecle
(Layoff Bingo)    

70"h. x 46"w. x 40"d., (main stand), 48"h. x14"w. x 14"d., (steel bingo card and coin holder), recycled steel
SAUVAGE D. 1990,

(Detroit Ca Va)

73"h. x 19"w. x 45"d.
steel with oil
SAUVAGE H61. 1994
(Highway 61)

77"h. x 70"w. x 30"d.

steel with oil
SAUVAGE F. 2009

(Font of Remembrance)

48"h. x 22"w. x 24"d.

steel with oil
T/M.1,  2001
(Tree/Machine)

38"h. x 15"w. x 16"d.

steel with oil