Marketplace Gallery’s latest show features Robots, Rockets, Ray Guns and functional Steampunk pieces by Colorado Springs artist Gary Weston.
Weston, a former schoolteacher, began writing children’s books in his retirement. When asked by his publisher if he would illustrate the book, he agreed. He began taking art lessons from Rodney Wood, who was living in the Springs at the time. Wood encouraged Weston to continue with his illustrations. Weston no longer wrote stories, as he began more art illustrations, which eventually evolved into 3D-steampunk art.
Weston transforms obsolete objects into nostalgic futuristic works of art. He rummages through flea markets, antique stores, thrift shops and garage sales for “parts” which are turned into one of a kind metal sculptures. When asked if he pictures the piece in his head when he sees an object or if he plays with the pieces, putting them together, trial and error, he answered, “both”.
“Sometimes I’ll be at a flea market and see an odd and unusual object and think—that’s the head of a robot, if I ever saw one. Then I’ll picture other parts I need to go with it. Sometimes it works out and sometime it doesn’t. Then I go to plan B and play with pieces until it comes together.”
Some of his creations have been repurposed into functional pieces. One example is his Blue Tooth Speaker Box Retro Lamp, a steampunk-sci-fi bluetooth speaker lamp with built in charger.
Other pieces in the show included Spike, a bulldog sculpture named Spike made from a vintage Wear-Ever Juicer, Flash Gordon Cosmic Blaster, a ray gun made from a 1940’s Power Kraft drill, a couple of rockets and several robots.
The robots are the main players in the show. Gork stands tall in the Gallery’s window. With his large eyes and an old aluminum ice cream maker body, you get an immediate sense of wonder and a peek into Weston’s imagination.
If the Shoe Fits robot wears vintage copper baby shoes and Voltron the Magnificent Lamp is another functional piece. Each robot has its own personality but all look like they stepped out of a 1950’s sci-fi movie.