JESÚS MOROLES | GRANITE SCULPTOR
Jesús Moroles was born in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1950. He continues to live and work in Texas, with his studio in Rockport, Texas. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of North Texas, Denton, in 1978 and apprenticed under Luis Jiménez for one year immediately after his graduation. In 1979 he left for Italy worked in Pietrasanta, Italy for one year before starting his body of work for which he is widely known.
Critical recognition for Moroles came quickly. His most visible public sculpture is "Lapstrake" 1987, a massive 22 feet tall, 64-ton work located across from the Museum of Art in New York. Moroles has received significant national attention with his inclusion in the landmark exhibition, "Contemporary Hispanic Art in the United States," which was shown at major American museums. His largest scale single work is the "Houston Police Officers Memorial," dedicated in November 1992. The memorial is comprised of a granite and earth rising stepped pyramid surrounded by four equal inverted stepped pyramids excavated from the ground.
When describing the process of working with granite, Moroles observed "I always say we don't carve granite, we tear granite. One of the ways we do this tearing is we drill small holes in the granite and put wedges into it. We apply pressure to the middle of the stone to tear it in a line or in a curve and actually open up the middle of the granite and it shows all the crisp untouched granite." And describing his work: "Each of my pieces has about fifty percent of its surface untouched and raw – those are parts of the stone that were torn. The rest is smooth and polished. The effect, which I want people to not only look at but touch, is a harmonious coexistence of the two."
Moroles has more than 2,000 works in place in China, Egypt, France, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, and the United States, in museum, corporate, public and private collections. To date Moroles' work has been included in over one hundred and fifty one-person exhibitions and one hundred and seventy-five group exhibitions worldwide. Among his distinctions, Moroles has served on the board as a commissioner at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC. His most recent distinguished awards include the recipient of the 2007 Award for Visual Arts by the Texas Medal of Arts Awards Committee and also recipient of the 2008 National Medal of Arts which is the highest award given to artists by the United States government.