|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Sculptor Tony Hochstetler is a sculptor in realist style of wide
ranging subjects such as frogs, reptiles, birds, fish and
amphibians. He says it is important for him to observe living things in
their natural environment so that his depictions are accurate. In
order to achieve this likeness, he has had a live collection in his studio that has
included lizards, frogs, tadpoles and a 10-foot boa constricter.
He also collects fossils and arrowheads.|
Growing up in rural Indiana, he enjoyed collecting beetles, insects and
fossils and arrowheads and was influenced by his grandfather, an
industrial arts teacher and amateur rock hound, as well as an uncle who
was a full-time potter. After high-school graduation, he
worked with his uncle in the pottery shop in Colorado Springs and then
went to Loveland, where he took a job with the foundry, Art Castings of
Colorado. There he learned about working with bronze, and his
first sculpture was a small pair of humpback whales.
strong enough that after three years, he could focus exclusively on his
own sculpture. Since then he has won awards with the Society of
Animal Artists and has been in exhibitions at the Wichita Art Museum,
World Wildlife Museum, and Denver Zoological Gardens. In April,
May and early June 2006, Hochstetler's work is part of the Gilcrease
Museum's Rendezvous exhibition in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where his subjects
will include a cicada (Cicada and Maple Leaves) and turtle (Turtle).
Of his work he says, 'I think I tend to gravitate toward the more
unusual animals. . . I like sculpting things you don't see everyday."
(120) The fact that bat images are some of his most popular
sculptures indicates that collectors share his preferance.
Most of his work is small scale, and he even does functional items such
as letter openers, vases and candle holders, but exceptions are a
five-foot tall seahorse spouting water and an 18-foot long python
draped over a large block. Emulating the Japanese aesthetic and
also the era of Art Nouveau moving into the Arts and Crafts Movement,
Hochstetler strives for simple, flowing, clean lines, a sense of
movement, and strong composition.
In his workmanship, he does little or no sketching, usually beginning
directly with the wax figure and then stays with one work until it is
finished. He does most of his own patina work at the foundry,
sometimes spending as much as forty hours per piece. He closely
oversees the firing.
Tony Hochstetler lives in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Gussie Fauntleroy, "On Land & Sea", Southwest Art, April 2006, 118-121
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