My work, whether shaped exclusively with a hammer or the cutting and forming of plates, is informed by the traditions and visual language of blacksmithing.
The process of heating metal until it is malleable enough to be reshaped by the smith goes back more than a thousand years. However, my designs are not restrained by adhesion to specific historical references and I frequently employ modern technologies and forms. I am inspired by the waterways, plant life and weather of familiar and newly discovered landscapes. The abstract forms I create are representations of the physics and patterns I observe in natural phenomena.
Through years of working on both sculpture and decorative architectural work, I have developed my artistic vocabulary. The large scale sculptures, while not necessarily forged, are an extrapolation of this vocabulary driven by my blacksmith’s desire to reshape the metal and make the surfaces my own. The decorative arts pieces blend my creative vision with utilitarian purpose, and to that end I find a beautiful symmetry between form and function.
I make no distinctions between what is thought to be functional and sculptural objects, but rather concentrate on designing pieces that fulfill my intention for the object within the framework of my aesthetic choices. While each project has a unique set of parameters, my goal in all of my work is to create art that inspires the imagination.
"John Medwedeff's public art is monumental and meticulous. His work blurs the boundary between the world of traditional metalworker and modern sculptor."
Phil Ponce, Arts Across Illinois, WTTW Chicago