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About Erwin

Erwin List Sanchez is a Mexican-born artist who resides between Cozumel & Greenport, New York. He creates life-size animal sculptures inspired by nature and the wastelands. List Sanchez forges and welds railroad spikes to create his sculptures, a material he has been working with since 1996. In recent years, he has also incorporated natural materials found on land and underwater into his sculptures, such as rocks, driftwood, corals, and shells. His very first figurative sculpture with railroad spikes was that of a porcupine. Sanchez has also created works for conservation projects, such as the Janos Biosphere Reserve in Northern Mexico.

Art Statement

I transform discarded metal and found objects into life-size animal sculptures, celebrating the harsh beauty of industrial landscapes. My work explores the tension between relentless progress and the fragility of the natural world.

 

Railroad spikes, symbols of advancement, are my primary material. By heating, forging, and welding them, I mirror how progress often exploits our environment. My shift from scavenging spikes along desolate tracks to purchasing them online highlights the ease and disconnect of modern consumption.

 

My sculptures stand as stark reminders of what we risk losing. Yet, they embody a defiant hope that we can forge a more sustainable future—one where progress and respect for the natural world coexist.

Art Statement

I am an artist who creates life-size animal sculptures from discarded railroad spikes and found objects. My work is inspired by the harsh beauty of the wasteland, and it is a warning about the dangers of unchecked progress.

I believe that our current way of life is unsustainable, and that we are headed for a future where nature has been destroyed and animals have gone extinct. My sculptures are a reminder of what we stand to lose if we do not change our ways.

I make my sculptures by painstaking hand, heating and forging over 1,000 railroad spikes which are slowly welded together from the ground up. In my work the railroad spikes symbolize progress, and the way I make my sculptures is a metaphor for the way that progress has been achieved at the expense of nature.

In the past, I would savage the spikes by walking for miles along desolated railroad tracks. But now, I just click a button and buy them on Amazon. This is a reflection of how easy it is to get what we want in the modern world, even if it means destroying the environment in the process.

I am a sculptor of the wasteland, but I am also a hopeful artist. I believe that it is not too late to build a better future.

CV

Education

1987-92 UAEM, Estado de México.

1992-95 Modeling and Mold Making with Professor Maria Santillan, Metépec, Mexico.

1996-97 Sculpting metal with Professor Fernando Cano, Toluca, México.

2007-11 Metal Fabrication at Art Students League Of New York.


Professional Experience

2022- Present Part-time Sculptor Instructor at CAST, Southold, NY.

2021- 2022 Part-time Sculptor Instructor at Project MOST, East Hampton, NY.

1997 - Present Freelance Artist.

Group Exhibitions

2023 Culture LAB LIC. Sculpture Garden, Long Island City, Queens, NY.

2023 Montauk Artist Association, NY.

2023 LIC-A Long Island City Artist, NY.

2022 South Hampton Cultural Center, NY.

2010 Crest Hardware & Urban Garden Center, Brooklyn, NY.

2010 Crest Hardware & Urban Garden Center, Brooklyn, NY.

2009 Brooklyn Artist Coalition, Brooklyn, NY.

2008 Art Student League Of New York, NY.


1998 Centro Cultural Cancun, Qroo, Mexico.

1997 Muséo De La Isla Cozumel, Qroo Mexico.

1996 Centro Cultural Méxiquese, Toluca, Edo Mex.

“An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.”
― Charles Bukowski

Contact Me

Hi there, if you wish to contact me or wish to visit my studio, please use the form below or: erwinlistsanchez@gmail.com 212-731-2387

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Erwin List Sculptures