In the art world, to utilize the most expensive and sophisticated tools from a local art store does not necessarily produce work with character. This is something achieved by being innovative with what is already available paired with the technical knowledge of the medium. Sculptor Steve Ceraso has mastered multiple types of three dimensional art techniques creating various series of works, each diverse in content yet all formed from repurposed materials. Although his venture as an artist began with mechanical drawing and architecture in high school, it was the act of sculpture making that fulfilled his creativity. He says “I wanted to make art that went beyond image-making, sculpture and installation did that for me.” Without the guidance of a specific image Ceraso must rely on his own creativity and the objects themselves to construct sculptures that truly emit character in the sense of materiality and form.
As Ceraso evolves as an artist so does his work, he explains “From series to series what I am thinking about changes, however these repurposed materials are always there. I want the viewer to respond to my work and make conclusions of their own.” His Amorphous Form series came together when working with a group of sculptors in Long Island City and learned the art of cast iron sculpture. The “biomorphic shapes” as he describes, completely reconfigures the rigid material of the metal that it once was. He says “I was concerned with making these fluid organic forms because it is something that is difficult to achieve with fabricated welding processes. It’s not easy to bend metal without extreme heat!” This correspondence between the original object and the end result is what Ceraso keeps in mind when obtaining his materials for a piece. Anything that makes the viewer question its original source is what inspires Ceraso.
This artist seems to always be broadening his expertise in casting. Being invited to work with other sculptors in a Pennsylvania foundry has given him the background to bronze casting. He says “Something about the process is just amazing, the process of working in a foundry with other sculptors is also a great exchange of ideas and skills.” Taking his knowledge of casting from this experience, he became a sculpture professor at LIU post working with aluminum yet still continues to be exposed to new techniques. More recently Ceraso has explored small scale pewter casting that he now teaches at a Bay Shore gallery that he manages.
For more about Steve Ceraso visit www.stevenceraso.com
Article by Jenna Weis
Photography provided by the Artist