A childhood fascination with creating objects out of nuts, bolts, scrap metal, and wood evolved into an intensely energetic creative drive. From monumental canvases to metal sculpture, Sacramento-based artist Gale Hart's repertoire of visual images grabs, engages, and speaks volumes about universal humanity.
A Narration characterized by humor, angst, and sarcasm presents itself through a constantly evolving cast of characters, Hart's sculptures parallel her paintings, with the visual language remaining constant, her narrative composition, ordered geometry, and color choices. Regarding her recent series of gun sculptures, Hart states:
I think the idea that weapons are needed to keep the peace is a disturbing concept. I wanted to explore this controversial topic in depth, so I decided to take a shot at participating in the gun culture while trying to remain receptive and detached. I began by attending a gun show and later arranged an opportunity to shoot a variety of firearms. Having a weapon in my hand I finally got what "gun control" really is. I marveled at the seemingly "automatic" power I had while being armed and how easily I could have controlled the fate of another. I had to keep the peace, I felt I also held the potential so simultaneously destroy it. The gun show I attended was a place where touching, holding, and caressing is encouraged. This was where I witnessed gun lust first hand. My conclusion, there are no machines in the world that are so varied, so beautifully sculpted, and yet equally so disturbing as firearms.
Here follows Gale's interview and her most recent series of gun sculptures that we've featured throughout our issue. If you want to know more about Gale, her creative processes, and her work, you can visit her website here.
Q: When did you get into your art form? A: I have spent my career testing out every possible medium and materials I could. I have been doing the gun sculptures for about a year and a half.
Q: Were there other mediums you tried before?A: Everything from sewing to bending, grinding, and welding steel. Painting and drawing included. The only thing I have not done is work in glass. But I do have an idea that would require cast glass so ya never know.
Q: Where do you find most your inspiration? A: Hypocrisy, corruption, bad communication, unfairness, politics, and animal abuse.
Q: Whom do you find has influence over your work? A: I really don't have particular artist but more art movements that influence me. Like street art or industrial design etc. I can see a piece of vintage furniture and that can get the wheels turning. I also like art that is painstakingly done. Laurie Lipton comes to mind.
Q: How long does it usually take you to complete a piece? A: The smaller gun sculptures take about a full work week. It all varies.
Q: What do you enjoy most about art and its creative process? A: Thinking about how to make something work. I like spending time in my head creating.
Q: What is the hardest part of doing what you do? A: Lifting and grinding steel.
Q: Do you work from home or a studio space? A: A studio with lots of tools.
Q: Do you have a favorite artist for any reason? A: Elisabeth Higgins O'Connor. Elisabeth can do amazing sculptures out of fabric that just blow my mind. She creates details that make blobs of fabric come to life and are reminiscent of vintage cartoon characters. Jeff Christensen. Jeff is an oil painter who has a surrealist style who really gets to the point with his narratives on politics and other atrocities. Liza Lou and her insane bead work really intrigues me. I like Retna too. I could go on and on, there are so many artist that I like and it changes all the time who I really like.
Q: Do you have a set schedule for when you work? A: I work my ass off night and day for months at a stretch then take a month off from exhaustion.