I love to work with metal - it changes with the seasons, gets better with time and the elements and yet is permanent. I often work with the skins of old vehicles - 40’s, 50’s & 60’s. I love the rich colors and character of the pieces I find buried in the salvage yards.
Native cultures tell stories of their people in a simpler time. I incorporate universal symbols and a variety of petroglyphs to weave a tapestry of history, to help keep the stories alive and give rise to new ones. The meanings can vary depending on the area, the tribe and interpretation. Some of my favorites are from Three Rivers in southern New Mexico and the Canyon Lands in Utah. Animal symbols—deer, elk, ram, and antelope—intrigue me because they talk about the survival of a people and of the planet. The faces or masks are all about celebration. Most indigenous cultures throughout the world build masks for their ceremonies, using their own unique style and elements from their specific environment. They are all different, and yet the familiarity establishes a deep connection between a world of peoples. I use patina on copper for the masks because it creates depth and color and breaths life into each face.
Some of my pieces tell a story but most are abstractions. The images just come together in my mind, and I have to let them out. I do minimalist sketches of some pieces, but I usually build it from the image in my mind. I often see how it is finished before I know how I will get to that point. The piece creates itself as I go. I’m always exploring new ways to repurpose the old. Some of my work adds an intricate process of inlaying metal scraps to create a colorful mosaic. I etch metals to look like beads and adorn the pieces with its own jewelry. The work evolves as I evolve. I rest, I explore, I create. Art is meditation and heals my soul and I share it in hopes of it healing the souls of many.
Chris Turri has lived most of his life in the Tularosa Basin of southern New Mexico and currently resides in Corrales, NM. After years as a silversmith, Chris expanded his creative talents to larger sculptures and other metals, focusing his work in steel, copper and stainless steel using a combination of new and repurposed materials.
Shaman - metal 5' tall 5" patina (#19)