Life-Size Wildlife Portrait Sculpture
Read how Tusk Sculpture has made a name for himself in only five years:
A talented artist, Stephen Kesler spent 16 years as a graphic designer. In fact he was working as a full-time designer as recently as August 2014.
Now he creates life-size wildlife portraits such as this 50 foot long sculpture of a humpback whale in his studio in Salt Lake City. The whale will be joining some of Kesler’s (or “Tusk” as he is called) other marine portraits at the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium.
While Tusk has been artistically driven his entire life it wasn’t until 2009 that he actually took up sculpting. Once he started, he found he was hooked.
The passionate connection to the medium was instantaneous. “I fell into design in my early 20s—it was something to make money at [while] doing art, I guess, and it scratched the creative itch,” he says, “but sculpture was something almost immediate when I started. I never stopped. I’ve sculpted every day since I started.
Kesler largely works by directly carving polystyrene foam supported by a custom-engineered steel support “skeleton.” Some of his pieces are created in a more traditional manner, using clay. However he eschews editions. Each of his works are unmolded “one-offs.”
Most of his works are portraits–wildlife and human. Starting with a small sculpture of an elephant and progressing to a portrait of his brother who died of cancer. Quickly Kesler has moved into the ranks of highly sought after wildlife sculptor. In 2014 Stephen was juried as an Associate into the Society of Animal Artists.
Clearly this whale sculpture is no fluke.
Learn more about Tusk Sculpture.
Thanks to Megan Kennedy and Slug Magazine for this story which can be read in entirety here.
Photo of Tusk Sculpture’s humpback whale sculpture in progress by Russel Daniels