Visual Arts

Help Phoenix Sculptor Pete Deise Create Stormy Seas

Phoenix-based sculptor Pete Deise isn't a modern technology guy; he hasn't owned a television in years and when we met with him at his downtown Phoenix home, he apologized for not having air-conditioning.

He does, however, own a cellphone, a pretty high tech website, and he's currently attempting to use technology (read: Kickstarter) to help fund his latest project: a site-specific, 150-piece, re-constructable sculptural mechanism called Stormy Seas.

"What I think about is how [the piece is] going to interact with people," says Deise. "Is this something people can walk through? Is this something they can experience? Is this something that ends up being a giant pile on the floor, with me lying naked and bloody in it because I've gone over the deep end? I don't know."

Deise is hoping raise $5,000 by July 8 for steel and other supplies that will eventually become Stormy Seas

In October, he plans to take 150 pieces of steel into the Ironwood Studios in Central Phoenix, and let the 15-by-15-foot room inspire the direction of the work.

"It's supposed to be about that freedom of composition," Deise says. "It's almost like meditation, let's let it be what it wants. On the first day, there'll be 150 pieces laid out on the ground. I'll basically start to bolt this whole thing together based on what I feel it should be."

Deise has partnered up with local photographer Lori Fenn to document the project.

"We want to put something in there that makes you think a little more about that space -- no price tag, no nothing," Deise says. "That human interaction that you don't normally see anymore."

Deise says raising money for any arts project is incredibly challenging, especially one like Stormy Seas

"I'm kind of stuck in the middle -- I don't fit in," he says. "I don't have political, or cultural work, which is what a lot of the museums and grants are looking for. Yet I don't really have pop work that you'd have in galleries. It's not me."

While money is a major issue on the front-end of Stormy Seas, he says he's not concerned with selling the piece after it's completed. In fact, he'd like to continue adding to it after Ironwood, maybe display it in other cities around the country. After all, it's for the people.

For more info, see Deise's website, project fundraising page, his Kickstarter video below: 

Note: An earlier mention of Ironwood Studios at Chandler-Gilbert Community College was incorrect. The Ironwoods Studio in Central Phoenix is a private, non-commercial gallery. An edit has been made. 

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Victor Gonzalez
Contact: Victor Gonzalez