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Out & About

October 11, 2012

The steel whisperer

David Stromeyer's monumental sculptures on exhibit in Burlington

BURLINGTON — David Stromeyer is a steel whisperer.

He bends it every which way he can to create monumental sculptures, which test his limits and gravity.

Four of his modest-sized sculptures, exhibited in “David Stromeyer-Equilibrium: Career Retrospective” at the Firehouse Gallery this summer, will winter in City Hall Park.

“Rumba” evokes a party mood with its hustle and flow painted in metallic hues of magenta and spring green.

He has watched children climb all over it, play around it and play peek-a-boo.

“It’s hard to predict that as an artist,” said the Enosburg Falls resident. “You don’t know who is going to do what to what piece and how they are going to respond.”

“Rumba” brings together essential aspects of Stromeyer’s aesthetics.

“For many years, I have been interested in the creation of an interior space as well as an exterior form. I’m intrigued with that threshold. That is very clear in ‘Rumba,’ and others are more vague,” he said.

He strives to be honest with the material, selects its strongest scale and manipulates its segments to create something new.

“I became more confident and saw the possibilities of how I could push steel around and move it in a much more plastic way,” he said.

Once he conceived how he could do it, he built the tools.

“It’s not something that is easy to do. Steel fabricators would be at a loss of how to do that. The other aspect about that piece, I’ve been very interested in color. Many sculptors paint a piece red or black to give an overall look. I like to play with the ambiguity of color,” Stromeyer said.

“Rumba” reflects light differently, which impacts how the viewer perceives it.

“It’s slightly iridescent. I like to play with a palette that is quite ambiguous. I have pieces painted in two, three or four colors. And, certain colors reflect the adjacent color,” he said. “It just adds additional dimensionality to the piece. Choosing a color is a very tricky process. I wanted to read a certain mood of the form. I don’t want to fight with the form. Sometimes, I paint the edge an individual color separate from the surface color. I play around with the color. It’s a big component of the piece.”

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