Leo Sewell is an American sculptor. He was born in Annapolis, Maryland on September 7, 1945. It was in Annapolis where he developed a love of junk. As a child, he 'recalls the 'excitement of tinkering' with stuff he discovered and recovered during walks in the woods and visits to the naval-community dump."
His parents challenged Leo to put all his junk items to a creative use. This is how his assemblage technique started.
Leo moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1974. As an adult, he earned a business degree and a Masters degree in Art History from the University of Delaware. He had no formal art training, which places him in the Visionary Art Category. He considers himself a "found object" artist.
Sewell's art follows naturalistic themes, and animals are featured prominently in his creations. His collage-like sculpture is assembled from metal, wood and plastic that he collects from trash, yard sales and flea markets. Sometimes, he uses objects with sentimental value to the person who has
commissioned the sculpture. This gives the sculpture more of a personal touch.
For over 50 years, Sewell has been experimenting with junk, trash and discarded relics. He gives these items new life. Developing his own assemblage technique, Sewell has created over 4,000 sculptures in
his career, all formed from old objects, scrap metal, plastic and wood assembled with nuts, bolts and screws. He selects objects for their color, shape, durability and patina. Individual objects remain recognizable within his sculptures which intensifies the pleasure of looking at the artwork.
Leo Sewell produces work of varying scale - some indoors, some more suited to outside spaces. His outside sculptures are welded together stainless steel, brass or aluminum.
While most of his sculptures are freestanding, he also produces wall hangings.
Due to his decades worth of experience within this medium, Sewell's sculptures have a "finished" quality lacking in other art of this type. His
sculptures are highly coveted.
One of his sculptures is right here in Philadelphia in the Please Touch Museum. It is here you will see the Statue of Liberty's arm and torch constructed of metal, toys and other discarded items. Leo Sewell's sculptures appear in over 40 museums and in private collections around the world.