#animals #cats #metal #sculpture #Selçuk Yılmaz

Thousands of Meticulously Layered Strips of Metal Bring Selçuk Yılmaz’s Big Cat Sculptures to Life

April 27, 2023

Kate Mothes

“Jaguar.” All images © Selçuk Yılmaz, shared with permission

Thousands of thin, intricately placed metal strips form powerful wildlife portraits by Selçuk Yılmaz (previously). Adding new meaning to “big cats,” his recent series explores the legendary power, courage, and resilience of jaguars, lions, and the prehistoric saber-tooth tiger. A painstaking process of hammering, layering and welding individual pieces links realistic representation and the addition of artistic elements, such as the regal adornment on the forehead of the lion, which is titled “King.”

Minimal, abstracted contours delineate the form of Yılmaz’s saber-tooth tiger, a huge cat that roamed what is now North and South America for millennia until they became extinct about 10,000 years ago. Combining a realistic face with a simple outline, the artist draws attention to its snarling expression and the fact that we can only imagine what the early mammals actually looked like. In “Jaguar,” a lifelike portrayal of a muscular feline interacts with the light through layered textures. “Since light and metal have opposite properties, they can create an interesting balance and contrast when they come together,” the artist tells Colossal. “It gives the feeling that light has a soul.”

Find more of Yılmaz’s work on Instagram and Behance.


A woman stands beside a metal sculpture of a lion's head. The lion has a crown-like adornment on its forehead.


An abstracted metal sculpture of a sabertooth tiger with a realistic face and outlined edges.

“Saber-tooth Tiger”

A detail of a metal sculpture of a sabertooth tiger's teeth.

Detail of “Saber-tooth Tiger”

A detail of a metal sculpture of a sabertooth tiger's eyes and nose.

Detail of “Saber-tooth Tiger”

A metal sculpture of a jaguar's head in profile.


A metal sculpture of a panther in profile, with light shining on it and reflecting onto the face of the artist, who faces the sculpture.

The artist with “Jaguar”

An artist welds a sculpture of a sabertooth tiger's face in his studio.

“Saber-tooth Tiger” in progress

#animals #cats #metal #sculpture #Selçuk Yılmaz


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