September 25, 2012
By Steve Bennett
For an artist whose work is measured by the ton, George Tobolowsky's scrap-steel sculptural works can be remarkably light and lyrical — even feminine in the case of the big metal bra. Talk about your underwiring.
The bra, also known as “Ann-e Girl,” is a 13-foot representation of the intimate garment — cups, straps and all — in heavy gauge welded shards of steel. Planted in its midst is a “tree of life” with a central circular element symbolic of hope, faith, home, security, stability.
“Every piece I make has a circle in it somewhere,” Tobolowsky says.
The bra came about when the 63-year-old Dallas artist entered the radar of Leslie Ezelle, a dynamo breast-cancer survivor, former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader and HGTV “Design Star” cast member who wanted to draw more attention to the cause. Last year, the bra was showcased at several locations around Dallas, including the finish line of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in October.
The artist's back story is almost as fascinating as his art. The Dallas native graduated from Southern Methodist University with business and law degrees in the early '70s. He minored in sculpture, studying under internationally renowned Texas sculptor James Surls. He also worked closely with another major influence, Louise Nevelson.
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