Metal sculpture artist Josh Cote’ uses wire in a manner similar to gesture drawing, capturing the “energy and life of the subject, with movement and mystery.” He says of his work, “Wire sculpture is a bare and honest medium as nothing is hidden, all is revealed to the beholder. Every sculpture is unique and inimitable, impossible to replicate.”
He created his sculpture “2 Rabbits” which includes “On a Bicycle: High Flyer Hare” and “On a Trike: Bunny on a Trike” in 2020. The metal sculpture was installed in the WRAL Gardens in August 2021.
Cote’ is the son of a watercolorist who grew up surrounded by art and artists. After studying painting and drawing at The University of Michigan School of Art, Cote became a self-taught sculptor who utilizes hand-modeled resin, cold-worked wire, found objects, glass, welded steel, and negative space to create unique and fanciful sculptures of ravens, porcupines, monkeys, rabbits, and many other creatures both wild and mythical.
He uses only needle-nosed pliers, implementing his own innovative techniques; Cote’ painstakingly hand-manipulates the wire. “Using negative space, combined with the linear nature of the wire, the finished work is much like a pen and ink drawing in sculptural form.”
Cote’ shared the inspiration behind sculpting bunnies out of wire:
Was I born into this world clutching my favorite stuffed animal, a blue felt moleskin bunny? It seems so. My earliest memories are inseparable with my stuffed animal named simply: Bunny, my twin. Dangerous forays into the woods, splashing in mud puddles or even field trips to the dump: Bunny was always right there alongside me!
In Waitsfield Vermont in the 70’s, kids got to go to the dump and play and explore the fantasyland of treasure. My Dad went to the dump to take real garbage, but would take my brother and I along. I remember finding ancient Chinese coins, coils of copper wire and once a discarded animal, Peter, a stuffed rabbit, Peter became just as close as Bunny.
Trauma struck one day, when we moved from Vermont back to Michigan. Eight hours into the drive I joltingly remembered that Peter was still in my bedroom closet back in Vermont! Why we never turned around or why Peter was not shipped back to me, is lost… new bunnies came into my life, but Peter is forever lost… until… pulled out of the portal here, he lives once again in the medium of wire.
Never grow up…