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joe brubaker’s tribe: scale and quiet gestures make powerful art

Joe Brubaker’s large-scale wood and metal figures are haunting, spiritual, totemic. A lifetime of making art, first as a painter and now for more than two decades as a sculptor, has taught him to be aware of details like the subtle grace of a quiet gesture.

It works, and so does Brubaker’s ability to harness the power of size – or oversize in the case of many of his sculptures. A mix of abstract and figurative, playful and serious, inspiring and meditative, his tribe speaks my language.

This carved wood and metal figure is 5 feet tall

“Most of my figures are totemic, that is, very quiet and subtle of gesture. I have found that more extreme body positions in the figures do not work for me. I believe this might be because “quietly gestured” figures invite meditation. Also, a standing, quiet figure exudes grace, and very small adjustments in the head tilt, or arm location, or leg position, affect the attitude of the piece a great deal, and create an implied narrative.” Joe Brubaker

Timothy, 5 feet tall

Timothy, detail

Sentry, over 5 feet tall

Sentry, standing guard


Horse, reclaimed wood, found metal, 33″ x 60″ x 8″

“I make art to renew myself, to experience the vitality of creative flow. I also feel that the individual creative process generates a ‘halo’ effect that is more significant than the individual creative act.” Joe Brubaker

The video below, created for the Donna Seager Gallery, has a few surprises – watch the sculptures closely.  Nicely done.  For a lengthier visit with Joe (half hour), click here –  he shares the wonderful collection of inspiration from his travels around the world that fuel his creativity.

Joe Brubaker from Elliot Art Productions on Vimeo.

More at the Donna Seager Gallery and Sue Greenwood Fine Art

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