Interview Bruce Larsen
Who is Bruce Larsen?
Bruce Larsen is a beat up, 56 year old white male living in south Alabama. Art and family are my life. I'm an outgoing introvert and I don't need many people around me. I like the quiet where I can hear the metal I work with talk to me. I do need adventure though, and am certified for hang gliding, sky diving and scuba and am currently working toward a sport pilots license.
Where do you reside?
I live on four acres of beautiful land on Fish River. We are about five miles outside the incredible and artist friendly town of Fairhope, Al. I love it here.
Which athlete do you get out of bed to watch? And why?
The closest I get to watching sports on TV is the Olympics every 4 years.
Which sports team gets your blood pumping? And why?
I follow individual sports more than team sports, but I'm very happy to see the slow rise of soccer in America. The individual sport that I could watch all day is base jumping!
Do you play sports yourself?
My parents introduced me to swimming when I was five. I took to it like a fish in water, and I still take it seriously for exercise. The water is a calming medium and swimming is where I can really recharge my batteries.
Who’s your favourite artist? And why?
H. R. Giger and Picasso are up there. They were both alive and relative during my life, and inspired me greatly.
What was the key moment your love for art grew?
There wasn't really one key moment. I've been making sculptures since I was 3 and I will continue until I drop.
How did your love for sports come about?
At peak training when I was 18 I was swimming 12 miles a day. It taught me to work hard and push through pain and discomfort. One of my secrets to success is that I work harder than most people. When its 100 degrees outside and I have to weld all day I have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
When did sport become a subject of your own art?
I've always been attracted to motion and emotion and sport represents both. Sport represents some of the best of humanity and I like to try and capture that.
What is Bruce Larsen’s style?
Repo-Renaissance. I strive for classical subjects using repossessed items.
If people want to see your work in real life: where do they have to go?
The United States Sports Academy has 9 large outdoor sport sculptures of mine, but I have works in the Shoalin Temple, China, Pietrasanta Italy and I'm currently working on a large piece for NYC. I also have many works scattered around where I live. Robert Plant is currently loaning a sculpture I did for him of the Wolverhampton Wanderers logo to their museum. I have loved led Zeppelin all my life so that one is especially meaningful. You can also see my work in the 47 Hollywood films I've done special effects for.
What is your favourite sport artwork you made?
Borzov The Sprinter at the United States Sports Academy.
Which sport, sports team or athlete has always been on your mind, and is on the list to make a work of?
I would love to sculpt Louis Zamperini [see pictures below]. I had the pleasure of having dinner with him a few years ago. He was one of the most inspiring people that I have ever met. He was fond of my work and talked to his agent, Olympic swimming champion John Nabor about me sculpting a public piece of him. Though Louis is now gone I would love to make that sculpture we talked about.
Which sport artist/colleague of yours do we have to check out?
My friend Charles Billich. Watching him paint is incredible.
Julius Caesar used to say (freely translated): “Give the people bread and games, and they will be quiet.” If you were Julius for a day, wanted to keep everybody relaxed, what food and which games would you give them?
Beer, pretzels and paintball. I don't like it too calm.
When I say Art Loves Sport, what’s the first thing that pops up in your mind?
Just about all I need are art, love and sports.
Bruce sent a lot of beautiful photos with his interview. These two of Louis Zamperini I could not withhold.
"These are photos of WW2 hero Louis Zamperini ( the subject of Angelina Jolie's recent movie "Unbroken") posing with my sculpture "Borzov" at the United States Sports Academy. Louis ran in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin Germany."