The price of bronze has skyrocketed in the last decade, according to a fascinating Wall Street Journal article on the challenges faced by artists and art production facilities since the rising price of copper—a key component in sculptor-beloved bronze—has pushed the latter metal’s price up from $1.20 to $5 per pound. Many artists and production firms have found ways to cope, like using cheaper materials that create a bronze-like effect, or working with foundries in developing countries. We can think of at least five Brooklyn-based artists who’ve likely had to resort to bronze alternatives.
Tom Otterness: The Gowanus-based sculptor—and one-time dog-killer—makes those playful bronze figures that often seem ubiquitous in New York, installed permanently in places like MetroTech, the 14th Street-Eighth Avenue subway station, and Times Square.
Sarah Peters: Though she also creates incredibly complex drawings, this Brooklyn-based artist’s singular portrait sculptures rely on the sheer mass and volume of bronze for much of their unsettling visual power.
Jennifer Cohen: True, the bulk of Cohen’s elongated, rectilinear, skeletal sculptures are made up of materials like cement, plaster and glue, but it’s the fingers, toes, hands and feet of shiny bronze at their extremities that make them so unforgettable.
Luis Gispert: Though he works primarily in photography, this Brooklyn-based artist has been known to cast a vintage boombox or two in bronze, like the massive bench above.