The biomechanical styles of Lewis Tardy’s sculptures have evolved throughout a lifetime of experiences, creating life and motion out of static scrap metals.
“Growing up, art wasn’t necessarily emphasized in my family, but somehow it took root. Most of my eight siblings had a considerable amount of talent. We all spent quite a bit of time sketching and drawing to entertain ourselves, as well as being a bit competitive about it too. As a kid, I liked drawing cartoons, planes and cars. Later, I began to focus on the human form. Along with that, I had an early introduction to things mechanical. My Father was a “Mr. Fixit” guy and a service repair manager for a company manufacturing the “old style” adding machines. As a young kid, He used to keep my brothers and I busy disassembling the un-repairable examples of these contraptions. I was fascinated by the complex engineering, the gears and linkages that made these things work. Later in my teen years I moved into working on cars and playing with the internal combustion engine. I believe my interest in things mechanical, combined with the love of illustrating the human form are most significant to the evolution of my art today”.
Kalamazoo Michigan has been home since 1965. Shortly after graduating high school, Tardy began Studying graphic arts and photography. He has always been drawn to the visual arts, but with a technical element. While looking for his calling, Tardy stumbled upon it in 1985, and began working as an assistant in a sculpture studio. Creating fantastic visions with the tools and processes he was already comfortable with helped Tardy to answer the call. He spent several years there, learning technique and developing his own vision before striking out on his own.
The combination of found steel materials coupled with a mixture of commentaries including sexuality, levity, motion, strength and attitude result in this unique expression of Tardy’s vision. Significant inspiration comes from shapes and designs discovered within the found parts and materials, which takes shape in human and animal subjects alike. On many occasions, a single shape or part will inspire and become the building block of a whole Idea.