For people who don’t know him, who is Ricardo García Lozano?
Ricardo García Lozano is a self-taught sculptor, born in Villanueva de la Serena in 1946, who came late to the world of sculpture – the end of the 70s -, although he had always made sculptures as a hobby, whether busts of friends or copies of works classics.
How was your training?
I dedicated a lot of time to the study of the great masters and read a good number of books on sculpture techniques. I attended casting sessions in Madrid, I traveled around Europe to visit museums and contemplate the works of Bernini, Ghiberti, Michelangelo, Rodin… In short, I have learned something from each of them.
How were your beginnings in the world of sculpture?
I always wanted to be a sculptor. I remember that when I was ten years old I made a head of Saint Peter at school with chalk, a pin and a hairpin. Then I continued with some things in clay, although nothing remains of these first sculptures, since not knowing the technique, the clay cracked and broke when it dried. As a professional, my first sculpture was that of Felipe Trigo in Villanueva de la Serena. Later I made other busts in different towns in Extremadura.
What was the process for the realization of the Monument to the Arriero?
Well, at the end of the 80s, the then mayor, Antonio Guerrero, contacted me to commission the project. We talked, reached an agreement and got to work.
Can you tell us the steps followed to create the sculptural group?
We are faced with a typical bronze sculpture. The first step is creating a scale model or sketch that is as perfect as possible. Once finished, you obtain a resin copy, which is more resistant than clay or modeling paste. From there, we move on to the expansion of the sculpture. Once we have this in clay and at a final size, we obtain a plaster mold that is sent to the foundry, beginning the process to obtain the bronze casting. The mold, which is a negative of the sculpture, is closed, and molten wax is poured inside. The part of the wax that is in contact with the plaster cools and hardens, the mold is emptied of the still liquid wax and a hollow wax copy of the sculpture is obtained. It is covered inside and out with chopped clay, which is a mixture of refractory clay and plaster, and is placed in an oven, where it is subjected to a temperature between 500 and 600 degrees for several hours, so that the wax first melts. and then it evaporates. In the space left by the wax, the molten bronze is poured, and once it becomes a solid state, the pit that covers it is broken, cleaned, polished and patinated, and we have the bronze work. It seems very complicated when described, but it is a relatively simple process and one that has not changed since the Etruscans. This process is called “lost wax casting” because the wax evaporates and is irrecoverable.
How long did it take to finish the work?
I don’t remember very well the time I spent on the execution of the monument, but due to the dimensions and the elements that make it up, I estimate that it was about six months.
What was most difficult for you?
The most difficult thing, and without a doubt for me the most important thing, is to give life to the characters, who are not dolls, but who express their moods through their body expression. For example, in the Monument to the Muleteer, even without saying it, everyone who sees the sculpture knows that he is going back home. The mule driver and the donkey express tiredness. Just by looking at them, you know they want to get home.
How much did the work cost?
I don’t remember exactly the amount, but I think it would be around three million pesetas.
What work have you done recently?
The most relevant has been the bust of HM Felipe VI, which he already has in his possession and which has become part of the National Heritage. In a few days I will bring to the Congress of Deputies the bust of the Extremaduran politician Muñoz Torrero, which will be installed in one of its rooms. For me it is an honor and a pride to be the first Extremaduran sculptor with a work in Congress, along with those of great artists such as Benlliure, Ricardo Bellver, Piquer, Ponzano and other great masters.
He has different works spread throughout Extremadura. Which ones would he highlight?
I have many works distributed throughout Extremadura. To name a few, the City of Badajoz sculpture, the monuments to the Brocense, in his birthplace Brozas; to Cura Jesús, in Almendralejo; to Calderón de la Barca, in Zalamea; to Don Ramón Núñez, in the Plaza Mayor of Trujillo; to Quinto Cecilio Metello Pío, in Medellín; to the Constitution, in Don Benito; to the Emigrant, in Don Benito or the Ciudad de Almendralejo sculpture.