One could assume that every San Diegan has seen the work of Christopher Puzio at some point, even if they don't know his name. The metal sculptor's work is seemingly everywhere these days, from the shores of Harbor Island to, most recently, a commissioned piece at the North Park Post Office building. When the downtown Central Library approached him to showcase some works at the rooftop Valeiras Sculpture Garden, he says they likely thought it would be more of a survey show featuring works he'd already completed. After all, he's a busy guy.
"They told me to do whatever I want and I never hear that," Puzio says, laughing. "I only had about three months to get some stuff together. I had some work already that I could show there, but I felt it was all stuff that people had seen before so I wanted to do a new series. We were able to get three done."
The three aluminum pieces—"Bishop," "Morocco" and "Jacob's Staff"—were unveiled at the Sculpture Garden on June 20 and will be on display for a year. All three are large and done in Puzio's signature style—the artist uses repeated geometric shapes to create intertwined and intermingled patterns that are both uniform and individually distinct when viewed up close.
"It's consistent, but there's a clear evolution," says Puzio, when asked how the new pieces differ from his previous sculptures.
Inspired by recent visits to Joshua Tree and Sierra Nevada mountain regions, the new work attempts to explore themes of "biological growth and organization," which seems well-suited for the outdoor space.
"It wasn't a direct response to the space, but with three months and a limited budget, I think they totally work in there," he says.
Puzio will work through the summer to complete two more pieces to add to the Sculpture Garden in September. His proposal for a site-specific sculpture at the public library in Alpine was also recently approved.