by Bruce Larsen
If I hadn’t become an artist, I think I would have been an archaeologist or paleontologist. I love the moment of discovery when I find a special piece and I already know where it will fit into a sculpture.
Farming implements are big heavy steel and represent the hard-scrabble lives of intense labor. Old barns are being torn down and history is being sold off as scrap metal. A lot of it is really beautiful metal that lived a life. People worked hard to purchase these machines, like tractors, and they’re disappearing. I see it as not really saving the piece but honoring hard work and past lives. I think maybe people feel the history when they see my work, and that is part of why they like it. I have always felt that I’m the modern version of thousands of ancestors. I think their memories and passions are alive in me. I have waited 13 billion years to be me, and I’m not going to waste it.
Bruce graduated in Illustration from Auburn University in 1987. He lived in Atlanta, GA, several years and did animation for advertising and began his work in special effects on films. When he moved to Fairhope, AL, he began to concentrate on his sculpture work. At the same time he was able to continue working in the film industry creating animatronic horses for movies including Dreamer, The Patriot, Dumb and Dumberer, Planet of the Apes and Ruffian, as well as work on over 100 TV shows and commercials.
His large scale outdoor sculptures can be seen in many cities in Alabama; Fairhope, Decatur, Daphne, and Mobile all own Bruce Larsen pieces, while his work is also in the personal collections of the Crown Prince of Bahrain, Shaikh AL Khalifu, Robert Kennedy Jr., Robert Plant, Philippe Cousteau, Olympic Champion Nastia Liukin, the Shaolin Temple in China, the President of East Timor Kay Gusmao, and Alabama Football Coach Nick Saban.