College Commissions Artist Chris Navarro for Innovative Contemporary Bronze Sculpture
Award-winning artist and rodeo competitor Chris Navarro, is no stranger to danger or intimidating creatures. Now, exactly 27 years after trading his lasso for a chisel on March 13, 1986, the bull rider-turned-sculptor confronts yet another ferocious animal and one of his greatest challenges.
Commissioned by the Casper College Board of Trustees to create a contemporary bronze sculpture of the T.rex dinosaur, Navarro will bring the toothy carnivore that roamed the earth 65 million years ago back to life in his monumental signature style. Titled "Essence of Rex," Navarro's innovative design will cast the prehistoric predator in a "new light" for the college's Tate Museum in Wyoming, where the dinosaur's fossil remains are commonly found.
"I've never sculpted a skeletal framework," Navarro explains. "To bring it to life, I have to inject emotion into it. I want to give it the 'wow' factor."
The T. Rex will stand 11.5 feet high, 23.5 feet long and seven feet wide, with a massive 4-foot long jaw lined with serrated teeth. Weighing four tons, the "Essence of Rex" will display the dinosaur's skeleton on one side while the other will look completely fleshed out. Navarro plans to run an internal lighting system through the sculpture radiating all the way up through the eyes for a special effect.
"I look forward to the challenge," says Navarro, who will start the sculpture in June. Often referred to as "the Remington of Our Time," Navarro will complete the work one year and claims there will be nothing else like it anywhere.