Monday, 4 April 2022

Great Upcyclers #6: Leo Sewell

'People want their objects to live again. That's why I'm here.'

Leo Sewell grew up near a rubbish dump in Philadelphia and has played with junk for fifty years, developing his own assemblage technique. His work - everything from a life-sized cat to a 40 foot long installation - is collected by corporations, museums and individuals throughout the world. 

Here's a short video featuring some of his work. I was particularly interested in what he has to say about classification. 

Is his work Dada? Is it Folk Art? Is it Assemblage? Is it Outsider Art? 

Frankly, he doesn't care. The important thing is that he's making art intuitively and because he feels driven to do so.


His sculptures are composed of recognisable objects made of plastic, metal and wood chosen for their colour, shape, texture, durability and patina. They are assembled using nails, bolts, and screws. The outdoor sculptures are constructed of stainless steel, brass, or aluminum found objects which are welded together. 

Although he went to art college he didn't specialise in sculpture. 

'I took one lesson,' he says. 'But I can also play tennis and I've never had a tennis lesson in my life.' 

His website is here.

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