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Wolfgang Vaatz artist profile

Wolfgang Vaatz artist photo

“The emphasis of my ‘wearable sculpture’s is on the natural stone. When working with nature’s treasures, my challenge is to first reveal the stone’s artistic value through a series of selective cuts and then to bring out its superb qualities in the final arrangement of the piece, in a way that the art work is bold and direct, engaging and truly comfortable to wear.” ~Wolfgang Vaatz

Namibian-born artist Wolfgang Vaatz is truly an artistic Renaissance man, excelling at painting, sculpture, and jewelry.

For his paintings and sculpture, both mediums draw from the same source of experience: “ordinary” Southwest landscapes which have not found their way into tourist guide books. “The Southwest has far more to offer than the ‘famous,’” says Wolfgang. “I am not interested in copying on canvas a particular sight seeing icon or in changing them in bold ‘contemporary’ colors or shapes. There is the familiar, ‘ordinary’ arid landscape that is spectacular with often overlooked distinctive, subtle details.”

Wolfgang believes that it is important for him to translate the tranquility, vastness, and richness of this landscape: “This arid landscape can offer so much if we learn to see and to appreciate it,” he says.

In 2009, Wolfgang moved from Sedona to Rio Rico in southern Arizona. Through the new environment and his little daughter’s interest, he was inspired to create wearable art.

Transforming quickly to work with natural stones and metal, his outpouring of creative energy surprised the artist. “I feel like this type of work was waiting for a long, long time to emerge,” Wolfgang says.

All his experience as a painter and sculptor and a life-long passion for gems and minerals that started during his childhood years in Namibia guide him to create intriguing jewelry– small wearable sculptures in a contemporary style with a Southwestern feel.

Wolfgang employs hand cut, semi-precious stones in his wearable art. He often uses rare stones such as Dominican Larimar from the Caribbean and Pietersite from Namibia as well as exquisite examples of local stones such as Arizona Kingman Turquoise. He combines these stones with his distinctive fabricated, shaped, forged, and soldered sterling silver.

Are you interested in purchasing Wolfgang Vaatz’s work? Please check out Wolfgang's art page or contact Turquoise Tortoise Gallery for more information.