April 18, 2008 - November 7, 2008
Philadelphia artist Lee Stoetzel creates sculpture that replicates man-made objects by using natural materials like scrap wood and shells. He is interested in the inherent beauty of the materials as well as the juxtaposition between organic elements and manufactured forms. Typically, Stoetzel re-creates familiar objects from popular culture such as a Volkswagen bus, a Harley Davidson motorcycle, a Jeep, books, and the original Apple computer-each is life-size and made of a highly textured wood known as Pecky Cypress. In a similar piece, Stoetzel has covered an existing Suzuki motorcycle with shells. By using natural elements like wood and shells, Stoetzel implies that the objects have either grown out of the landscape or been enveloped by it.
In Natural Cycle, Stoetzel has paired Shell Motorcycle with Track Bike created specifically for this exhibition. Track Bike is a continuation of his interest in vehicles although it is made at twice the scale of a real bike. This oversized track bike emphasizes the beauty of the object's original design, the unusual textural quality of the wood, and the intricate craftsmanship of its re-creation. Stoetzel seamlessly melds natural and man-made elements together to create vehicles of fantasy where the viewer dreams to get on for a ride.