Going into any garage is like going into the bowels of a house–you never know what you’re going to find. And there’s no doubt that some odd stuff is lying behind the closed doors of many San Francisco garages.
But what’s behind Ross Sheehan’s garage door is arguably the oddest.
“People have walked by and said, Wow I never knew this existed on my block. They feel like they’re in some kind of cave,” says Sheehan whose garage has revolutionized the term man-cave with his 9-foot tall floor-to-ceiling copper stalactite.
Sheehan’s art studio/garage also houses a 6-foot tall copper dinosaur and a 6-foot wide copper ram skull wall installation. A total of 30 metal sculptures live in the copper cave.
“They’re built from things I’ve experience in nature. Lately its been the hills of Montara, wild succulents, rocks, windblown plant life, and other gnarled formations,” explains Sheehan. “Some people say they’re robotic or mechanic looking.”
Once Sheehan has finished constructing the sculptures, he leaves them outdoors until they’ve reached the patina he’s looking for because copper oxidizes if exposed to enough natural elements. The sculptures go out shiny and they come back rusty brown with blues and greens. He says that can take 2 weeks to 2 years.
“Its always a surprise to me when I go out and check them. Sometimes they’re not at all what I thought they would look like,” says Sheehan who is usually working on 2 or 3 sculptures at once.
The 30 sculptures have taken 3 years to complete, and Sheehan says many of them he created while working in an entirely outdoor studio space. He admits he prefers his latest unsuspecting retreat in Sunset.
“There’s sometimes a phobia of a garage. Its forgotten space. For me, it’s the ultimate workspace,” says Sheehan. “I can just go there and get away from anything.”
Sheehan’s copper and found-metal sculptures are on show as part of ArtSpan’s Open Studios during Saturday October 23rd and Sunday October 24th in Sheehan’s garage from 11am-6pm, located at 2550 30th Avenue @ Vicente Street. Please visit http://artspan.org/bio/ross-i-sheehan or http://www.sheehanfineart.com for more details.
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