Sculpting Metal while Sculpting a Future in the Arts
Moses Viveiros is currently undertaking a double major in Visual Arts and Education at York University. We spoke with Moses about his artwork, and how his arts education has shaped him.
Moses Viveiros puts on protective gear in the sculpture studio
AMPD: What is your preferred artistic medium? And why do you prefer it?
MOSES VIVEIROS: Once I started university, I developed a love for sculpture that surpassed all other mediums for me as it was something new. But within sculpture I have grown an attachment towards metal, it has pushed me towards my boundaries both physically and mentally. Working in 3D is unlike anything I have ever done. It engages the mind to think in a conceptual way as one tries to create a design while fighting against gravity. Not to mention how cool working with metal really is; being able to take something so solid, only to melt it and form it to your will.
AMPD: Did you have any previous experience in welding or metallurgy before York?
MV: Before York no, I actually did not have any experience in working with metal and welding at all. The new skills that I have obtained through welding and metal work can be applied to different mediums like clay. Metal work allowed me think of ways to build the armature to support my clay sculptures while welding aspects allowed me to correctly attach additional clay parts to an already existing one successfully.
Top Left: Moses Viveiros’ Geometric Shark | Right: Moses Viveiros’ 40lb Bronze Octopus | Bottom Left: Detail of 40lb Bronze Octopus.
AMPD: How would you describe your “style”?
MV: My sculptural work focuses on analyzing how organic material objects and life can be constructed by industrial and sharp edges. In particular I have been working on how I can make realistic animals out of geometric forms or how realistic am I able to make an animal out of a metal, specifically bronze. My works also tend to mimic the actual size of what ever it is in reality whether it be the over 6-foot geometric shark done in first year, or the realistic 40 lb bronze octopus in third year. Before I officially graduate from my undergrad, I hope I get the chance to further explore sculpture pushing my boundaries even further.
AMPD: What are your aspirations after York?
MV: My aspirations after York University are to develop myself further, exploring career options that not only support me financially but also mentally and physically. In 10 years, I hope to be a successful full-time high school teacher who takes his spare time to his help students realize that the arts can be a career option, and all I have to do is show them. During the summers I would like to travel all over the world and maybe, just maybe, be a part-time tattoo artist.
AMPD: How has York helped to prepare you for the challenges of what might come next?
MV: Honestly being in the York University art studios has not only helped me develop as an artist but as a person as well. In general, the art studios have given the space for my work to be constructively critiqued by other artists and educators. But for me it has been specifically the sculpture studio that has pushed me outside of my comfort zone. Without that space, I would not have met mentors like Roch Smith our metal workshop technician, and professor Zeke Moores who changed my art world more than they can ever imagine. Now I have the great opportunity to work with professor Brandon Vickerd who I am sure will provide me with the support and challenge me that much further.
Moses Viveiros shapes metal in a vice.
AMPD: Do you see any growth in yourself as an artist from your first year to today?
MV: In reflecting on myself and the artist and person that I was in first year in comparison to me now there has been a significant change for the better. Although somethings will never change like my timid and shyness, I have grown more comfortable with reaching out to people for anything from a spontaneous photoshoot with classmates and friends to seeking advice and guidance from my mentors. I now feel comfortable in just expressing who I am and creating works that I want.
AMPD: Any advice for a first year Visual Arts student?
MV: If I could give any advice to a first-year visual art student it would be to try new things whether its within a medium you feel comfortable with or one that you have absolutely no experience in. I would also ask for you to take a minute during critiques to seriously analyze your work and take in the constructive criticism of your peers because these next four years will probably be the biggest jump you can make as an artist in terms of growth and development.