Lutz Podolski

Lutz Podolski's interest in metals began with the study of mechanics in Bremen, awakening his enthusiasm for precise uses of metals and their submission to working. But his real education began when he left Germany in 1980 on various long journeys through Canada, the United States and Mexico, and on through Peru, Bolivia and Argentina. The vital, chaotic power of the southern continent shook his cultural and historic models, models that in any case no longer provided him support. Between stages he observed and practised craft techniques and absorbed the energies of an exuberant nature and a human landscape unadapted to rational comprehension.

In 1984 Podolski set up his workshop in Mérida, capital of Venezuela 's high Andes state. Here he began to develop, first in bronze and later in silver and gold, the skills and images gathered during his four-year travels.


The process spiralled and widened. Engraving, chiseling, setting, soldering, forging, embossing (repoussé), inlaying, casting (founding) and joining were quickly put to the service of a universe of jewelry. The pieces grew into objects of power embodying primitive beauty, mythic violence and the brilliance of rediscovered treasure. Lutz's journeys to Brazil, Colombia and Europe became searches for tools, techniques, precious stones and even more, for fossils, fangs, bones, stones, archeological fragments (shards), old coins and amulets, allowing him to express through jewelry the convergence of shamanic imagery, ancient European voices and his own contemporary self absorbing the impact of crumbling civilizations as well as of the natural world sustaining them.


While continuing his jewelry, Lutz has expanded into metal sculpture. Using pieces of discarded machines and automotive parts he has created dragons and a swarm of giant insects, mantids, mosquitoes, as well as spiders and scorpions. Some remain forever enmeshed in the woods of Turgua, conferring on the idea of industrial recycling a supernatural, somewhat disquieting lyricism.


Among Lutz's metal structures are objects of daily use such as a series of coffee pots and lamps (ingenious scultpures that provide light while recycling old iron), and larger works including window grilles, gates and façades constructed of scrap metal bearing the traces of plant forms and rusted insects that have fled to a more habitable world.