Wright is pleased to present two unique sculptures born out of an extraordinary collaboration between two artists with diverse styles: the world-renowned sculptor Albert Paley and Jesse James of West Coast Choppers fame.
Each of the works was made by one artist and completed by the other; the results exhibit the creative potential of collaboration as well as the technical prowess and aesthetic vision of two artists that are at the top of their fields.
The works made their debut at FABTECH Chicago on 6 November 2017. The Paley-James Project and the making of these works will be the feature of a 60 minute documentary to air on WXXI the PBS station of Rochester, New York. The project was made possible by ESAB and five co-sponsors of FABTECH.
Proceeds from the sale of these works will benefit grants for the metal working trades.
Albert Paley’s most famous commission, the portal gates of the Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution at Washington D.C., was completed in 1974 just five years after he made his first piece of ironwork. Trained at Tyler School of Art as a jeweler, Paley acquired a command for working with metals exploring the inherent and natural qualities of his materials and pushing them to their full potential.
Paley’s jewelry of the 1960s and 1970s were exceptional statements of bodily ornamentation or wearable works of art that forged the way for the functional and decorative objects he would later make. Crossing the boundaries between art and craft, Paley has established himself as one of the greatest metal artists in the country. Throughout his career, he has completed several important private and public site-specific commissions; his works have been widely published and can be found in multiple major museum collections around the world.
Jesse James was born in Lynwood California in 1969. Raised in Long Beach, James learned to weld at a young age working in his father’s antique shop. At twelve, his first project was restoring an old Schwinn bicycle which he promptly sold for a profit. By his freshman year of high school, James had fashioned his first motorcycle exhaust system in his mother’s garage. After an injury ended his college football career, James worked as a bodyguard for big-name musical acts including Soundgarden, Danzig and Slayer. In the late 1980s, his focus returned to motorcycles and he studied welding and fabricating skills under legendary hot rod designers Boyd Coddington and Fay Butler. In the early 1990s, James founded West Coast Choppers and quickly gained a reputation for fashioning extraordinary and expertly built custom motorcycles. In 2002, his series Monster Garage debuted on The Discovery Channel, launching James into stardom. The following year, People magazine named him one of the sexiest men alive, although James insisted that he would “…rather be named Welder of the Year”. While his professional titles have transitioned from custom car and motorcycle builder, to producer, CEO and philanthropist, James remains a passionate craftsman and master welder intent on creating with his hands.
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