John A. Peralta proves that, if presented the right way, the inner workings of a machine can turn out to be a stunning piece of art. Fully self-taught, Peralta’s unconventional style of sculpting incorporates iconic mechanical objects and high-tech materials to produce complex representations, which he nicknames “Mechanations.”
The inspiration for his work came from a simple diagram of a bicycle. “In 2005, while living in Hong Kong, I came across an exploded diagram of a bicycle on the back of a magazine,” he writes in his website. “I was inspired by its fragile beauty, and imagined a three-dimensional version with a real object.”
Inspired by that initial bicycle image, the subjects Peralta chooses for his “Mechanations” series are icons of utility and invention. “I also like to think they hold memories that we’ve long forgotten,” he writes. “They’ve watched generations pass; recorded every scene, love letter, and document. Each image, word, and note is permanently imprinted on them.”
In order to expose the inner workings of his chosen objects, he developed his own techniques for suspension. Having received no formal training in the arts, it wasn’t until his thirties that he found his creative voice. His influences include cubist artists like Metzinger and Picasso, as well as surrealist artist Storm Thorgerson. But his sculptures, we have to admit, look like nothing we’ve ever seen.