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    Photo: Dan Jurgens
c. 1985
Welded metal strips
73.5 x 65 x 27 inches
Collection of
Souls Grown Deep Foundation

Eighteen-Wheeler is a life-size reindeer, made of metal bands, woven by the sculptor with the ease and dexterity of a master basket maker. The piece once fell from Lucas's pickup on the highway to Montgomery. The reindeer was partially destroyed by a passing truck (an eighteen-wheel tractor trailer; hence the title) and was restored by Lucas with a different color of metal banding. The result is a work composed of two distinct halves, symbolizing the artist himself: "That animal is me—broke, and put back." And it is also a man who envisions himself with two separate identities: "I'm Charlie Lucas in that house over there [in his home]. Charlie Lucas got a wife named Annie and six children. When I go across the road to my studio and put on my welding mask, I become the Tin Man."