Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Angel Cabrales, a multi-media sculptor. I work in just about any medium demanded by the concept of my work, from metal fabrication to resin casting to electro/mechanical systems to wood working. I am from El Paso, TX and received my BFA in sculpture from Arizona State University and my MFA in sculpture from the University of North Texas.
I create sculptures and interactive installations as a means to begin a discourse among the viewers and participants. In this commercial-centric culture, I find that the best way to reach my audience is by using industrial design and commercialism to create my artwork as an appetizing “product” for the masses. My work is satirical; the reason for this is to ease the audience into the subject matter. Each piece is made to not only heighten awareness of the subject matter, but to begin conversation where most would rather be entertained from a distance. The creation and engineering of this “merchandise” is not just an artistic presentation: it is an invitation to incorporate the viewer and make them a larger part of the work itself, creating an interactive experience that merges a passion for the arts with the social and political concerns of today.
A lot of my work is “weapon” oriented, not as a glorification, but as an aggressive representation of the world we live in. We live in a click-bait world of Extreme, Epic and Amazing! Watching our media is one ratings grab after another, without really giving notice to the real issues at hand. I try to use this aggressive tone to keep the issues in the fore front with my work.
How did you get your start?
My initial start in wanting to build things came from my father, who was an engineer at White Sands Missile Range. At an early age, he helped my brother and I build a number of things. We would work in his tool shed in the backyard making wooden toy rifles, buildings for my action figures and pine wood derby cars. My dad always made sure to teach the math in the work and instilled a love for building, which eventually led to my interest in sculpture.
My interest in sculpture came about in my first year of art school at the College of Santa Fe. It was there that my professor took me aside and asked why I wasn’t a sculpture major. After deciding that I would become a sculpture major he then told me the school did not have the facilities for sculpture and I would have to find a better school. This is how I ended up going to ASU for my BFA, where I was able to learn a variety of sculptural skills.
What inspires you?
The state of the world today inspires me to dream of a better future, a well-informed future where there is more to life than money, entertainment and war.
My work is also inspired by a great love for science, math and engineering, as well as science fiction and pop culture.What do you like about AZ?
I loved the energy of the artists while I was at ASU and the good friends I have made here. I also love Arizona’s mountains and the vast sky (when out of the city). I loved going up the superstition mountains to watch meteor showers.
Where can we see you(r) work?
Currently, I have a sculpture in the Mesa Contemporary’s exhibition: ARTillery: Contemporary Art Influenced by Weaponry from now until August 16th and have future exhibitions in the Phoenix area and Dallas, TX. Information for those shows will be on my website, angelcabrales.com, where you can see more of my work.
What would you like to accomplish before you die?
Before I die, I would like to have made sculpture and installations in as many countries as possible. I also hope to have an installation based gallery and sculpture garden someday.
What is your mantra?
I have three:
“Sacrifice everything for your art; sacrifice your art for nothing.”
“Not everything is sculpture but everything is sculpture materials.” – From Professor Lew Alquist
And one by my mother,” No busques, pero no te dejes,” which means,” Don’t look for trouble, but don’t back down when it finds you.”