D’Arcy Bellamy (1968) is an American artist who creates abstract sculpture exclusively from steel pipe. Check him out!
Primarily self taught, Bellamy’s labor intensive, free form, low-tech fabrication process results in original, engaging, often kinetic sculptures. Most metal sculptors work in an additive process or by mold making and casting. D’Arcy works more like a stone carver. Starting with a length of pipe, he adds only space. He describes this free form process of cutting and bending as “subtractive fabrication”. Each sculpture is completely unique, there is no casting or duplication of any kind. Most of his current work is between 6’ and 8’ tall.
The majority of Bellamy’s work is created by combining elemental shapes like lines, circles, squares and spirals, or compositions of plants, animals and the human form. His objects cast intriguing shadows and many undulate with the touch of a hand or a gentle breeze. These traits draw the view into and around the work.
Smooth curves, rough edges, and movement provide visual interest. D’Arcy adds visual texture either by polishing the forms to a high sheen or by preserving the rust or other surface character from the found pipe. At, times Bellamy leaves traces of white paint from the roughing out process. The work has an authentic, unrefined roughness. Bellamy doesn’t try and hide imperfections in his objects. The rawness of his work invokes the aesthetic of Wabi- Sabi, that of being imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.
Bellamy has been working exclusively in steel pipe for almost two decades. He has created over 250 sculptures. His work is in numerous private collections throughout the United States. D’Arcy finds inspiration in daydreaming, nature, fabrics, architecture, advertising and fashion. Although D’Arcy appreciates the work of many modern and classic sculptors, the work of David Smith has exerted the most influence on his work and process.
We asked Darcey a few questions about his career as an artist:
How did it all start?
I was in my early 30’s, I had just moved to a new town (Dallas, TX), I was unhappy with my middle management job and I suffered a personal loss. A friend of mine steered me to a local community art center as a way to get “unstuck”. I was highly unskilled at every art medium I attempted until I tried metal sculpture. On the third day of class I made a 3’ spiral from steel pipe. I have worked exclusively in that medium for the last 18 years.
What inspired this recent body of work?
For my August exhibition at Capitol Contemporary Gallery I have 12 pieces on display. All of the work was completed in the last 6 months. During that time I had a relationship end. I think that the emotion of the relationship ending, the pandemic receding and having more time to spend in the studio fueled this creative burst where my output effectively doubled. I always try to keep the work evolving by adding more detail, color, and incorporating new elements into the work so that I don’t make the same piece twice. The experience of the pandemic added fuel to my fire to make creating sculpture more than a hobby.
How have our Idaho Communities inspired you as an artist?
I move to Boise 12 years ago for a job opportunity. I was immediately struck by how grounded, authentic and open idahoans are. I love the small town feel of Boise. Through recovery, men’s work, and art I have established strong community in Boise. My people have encouraged and supported my art making as my personal form of self expression.
What sort of Challenges and Opportunities have you experienced in recent months?
I feel that since things have largely reopened in 2021 people want to make up for lost time and in general “go fast”. I think this robust focus on the present rather than “the someday” is exciting. It appears that many people are more connected to the fleeting nature of life and are determined to savor it. My consistent challenge as an artist is to balance my time in the studio with life engaged in the world.
I will to continue look for opportunities to grow and develop as a human being and as an artist. Particularly around finding ways to exhibit my work in order to expose more people to my style of art making.
Capitol Contemporary Gallery announces Return, a show of new paintings by Rachel Teannalach and Josh Udesen, featuring sculptures by D’Arcy Bellamy. We are also pleased to be offering wine by Coiled Wines this month.
The artists will be in attendance on First Thursday, August 5th from 4:00 to 8:00 PM. The show is free, open to the public and runs through August 31st.
We hope to see you there!
A special thank you to
451 S. Capitol Boulevard
Boise, ID 83702
Monday – Friday 10:00 to 6:00
Saturday 10:00 to 2:00