Film and Photographs By Justin Chung

Vince Skelly, Sculpture Artist

Claremont, CA

February 27, 2023

I first encountered Vince's work at a friend's house a few years ago, and was immediately drawn to the sturdiness of the stools.

In typical wood working that I am accustomed to, there's multiple pieces used to make the finished item. In getting to know Vince and his practice, I am fascinated with how he makes each art piece, carved out from one piece of wood.

Here's a short video along with some photographs from a day with him at his studio in Claremont, CA.
Transcript below:

"I don't really consider myself a woodworker, more of a sculptor mostly because I'm carving these forms in a reductive process and traditionally, woodworking is more of an additive process that requires lots of tools and precision. But what I'm doing is kind of the opposite of that.

I'm carving in a very gestural way. So to me carving feels like I'm painting. I rarely do sketches on paper. So I'm pretty much just sketching with the chainsaw which is leading to improvisation and the results you can get from that are way more exciting to me because they're usually things that I never would have come up with.

A year into it it became clear that what I was doing was bringing in my interest in megalithic structures, you know these ancient things called dolmens and mid-century design and kind of melding these two forms and aesthetics. That's kind of what's become my visual language."

Vince Skelly
Claremont, CA

Film by Justin Chung
Director of Photography: James Messina
Music: Matt Radosevich
Film Scans: Negative Lab