As a metal artist and owner of Artisan Forge Metalworks Studio, I am always exploring ways to bring to life concepts that are not just ‘click and drop’ art but work that engages the viewer to look beyond the presence into an alternative meaning. Masquerade- ‘what faces you’ is not only a play on words but a purpose built work that is meant to portray to the viewer a sense of uncomfortable questioning “what faces you?” What struggle, what love, what passion, what challenge...Designed and fabricated in a modern faceted style contrasts with the old world demon- the black plague and it’s now iconic mask. This calls to mind a time that when ‘what faces you’ was most likely answered with life and death scenarios and may possibly trivialize our 1st world problems of today. If Masquerade evokes a sense of thankfulness for the positive ways in which the world has moved, it’s ironic meaning has succeeded.
Greg Johnson, an Eau Claire native, attended UWEC and quickly moved into the design and build a world. He has been an artist and metal fabricator for over two decades. His love of architecture and
design has evolved into works for personal clients to public works to commercial installations from
monumental stair design and fabrication to sculptures. He resides with his family in Eau Claire, WI.
Representing organic geometry with steel has been a historic technical problem. At a melting point of almost 3000F, steel doesn't lend itself to being cast into human forms as we see in sculptures like Donatello's 'David'. Unlike marble, subtractive processes such as chiseling are useless when trying to remove large sections of steel. While sheets of steel can be rolled, hammered and formed to resemble a face, the required time is immense. However, if complex curved surfaces are simplified into multiple planar surfaces, or 'facets', fabrication becomes more effective. With a custom 3D CAD design, a CNC plasma cutter, a welder and two skilled artisans, the impression of any organic surface can be created using faceted geometry. 'What faces you' was created by combining technological advancements with the visceral and enduring qualities of low-carbon steel. 3. Alex Greene is an Eau Claire native who is a trained welder and 3D Modeler. After receiving a technical diploma in Welding from CVTC and a Bachelor's Degree in Industrial Design from UW-Stout, Alex has joined the team of craftsmen at Artisan Forge Metalworks to bring the custom flair of quality steel-work to the Chippewa Valley.