'Disappearing sculptures' created in Sellwood garage
Julian Voss-Andreae creates very large, breathtaking, and mesmerizing sculptures that trick the eye. Have you ever looked at a life-size stainless steel sculpture that seems to almost disappear as you walk around it? His sculptures do that.
Voss-Andreae has his studio in Sellwood, and unless you have seen him or his some of his "team" occasionally working on a sculpture outside in the driveway area, you might not know that he inhabits a 6,000 square foot studio (an old auto repair garage) on S.E. 17th Avenue.
And you may not know that he is an internationally renowned sculptor.
Born and raised in Germany, Voss-Adreae was drawn to art and computers at an early age. At twelve years of age he acquired his first computer and started programming. Then he began making serious drawings and paintings in his late teens. Science also fascinated him, and in his twenties he developed a deep interest in quantum physics. "I realized that you could use mathematics as a tool to make designs."
At the Universities of Berlin, Edinburgh, and Vienna he studied physics, mathematics, and philosophy. He was intrigued by how bizarre and weird the nature of reality can be. He earned a degree in quantum physics, and began combining art and physics in a very unique way.
He created his first sculpture in 1999 – and then moved to the United States in 2000 to study sculpture at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. He graduated in 2004, and has worked since then as a full-time sculptor. His first studio was very small, so three years ago he moved to the large old auto service garage that he is renovating on S.E. 17th Avenue.
Now, with his team of eight – "all sculpture is team work" – he creates sculptures of stainless steel, titanium, or bronze, that are commissioned and shipped to locations all over the country and the world.
Voss-Andreae first learned to cut steel with lasers, welding the parts and sanding them to make sculptures in many forms – representations of molecules, proteins, and human forms.
Then, 3-D printing began to fascinate him in 2014. "You can represent any solid in the computer. You can 3-D scan and print, and basically turn anything you want into something you can touch." Most of his life-size or much larger human forms can "disappear" when seen from different visual perspectives, due to the way light reflects at different angles on the metal "slices" or slats.Today, the human forms start with a life model, whom he coaches to try different poses. From there, everything starts in the computer. Using multiple photos of the model taken from many angles, he uses 3-D printing as a tool for creating a small plastic model, which serves as a tool for his life-size and bigger sculptures made of slices of stainless steel, bronze, or titanium. In the maze of rooms in his studio, there are many large sculptures in progress at any one time.
To stand at the foot of the sculptures is awe-inspiring. "His sculptures are like a passage to another universe," commented one woman who is quoted on his Facebook page.
Voss-Andreae's work has been shown in more than 130 exhibitions in cities across the United States, as well as in Paris, London, and a number of countries including Italy, Russia, Monaco, Romania, India, Switzerland, Germany, Taiwan, China, Israel, Spain, and Australia.
"Institutional" pieces are permanent and mostly-large-scale outdoor monument style sculptures, as at the Southeast Portland Community College campus on S.E. 82nd Avenue of Roses at Division Street, and at the Maryhill Museum of Art in Goldendale, Washington. Other permanently-located pieces are at the Linus Pauling Center for Science, Peace, and Health at S.E. 41st and Hawthorne Street, and at the Pacific Northwest College of Art.
To see a full array of Voss-Andreae's sculptures, make an Internet search for "Julian Voss-Andreae sculpture".
Voss-Andreae has a busy artistic life, but also has a family and four children in Sellwood, and he says his family is "a major part of me – as big as my work."