The bison sculpture Karl Lansing is posing next to is named “Rolling Thunder,” and it looks real enough that it should make Lansing uneasy to stand so close. The bronze beast could pass for the real thing if it were out on the rolling grasslands, where millions of real bison once caused their own rolling thunder as their hooves collided with the prairie ground. But this sculpture isn’t even within migration distance of the plains.
It stands as a monument in upstate New York, almost as far east from the western wilderness as you can get without wading into the Atlantic. The sculpture is just a taste of the West, a representation of thing some will never see but still dream of. That’s what Lansing does—he sees the beauty of the outdoors and creates sculptures that transmit that beauty around the world.
Lansing is a big game sculptor, a title that has romance baked into it on a number of levels. He specializes in indigenous North American wildlife like bison, elk, moose, grizzlies, and caribou, as well as African animals. Raised in the Northern Rockies of British Columbia, Canada, he began working with animal art as a taxidermist, using real animals to create memorials to the outdoors. After parting ways with a mining job, he turned his attention to art.
Sculpting allowed Lansing to combine his creative talents with his passion for the outdoors. He had previously been involved with guiding and outfitting, which combined with his taxidermy work and hunting career gave him an eye for what wildlife art should be. He knew that realism was the key to making sculptures, something other sculptors had forgotten in favor of abstract interpretations. Each piece that comes from Lansing’s hands and mind could be stood up in the woods and surprise a hiker or hunter.
Many do just that. His life-sized sculptures are routinely used as monuments, with elk, moose, and bears standing in natural settings. There’s even a sasquatch in Vancouver.
His smaller sculptures appear as coffee tables, lamps, mantel pieces, and belt buckles. Miniature are also for sale.
To view more of Lansing’s work and to make a purchase visit karllansing.com today!
Photos courtesy of Louise Lansing