Towering at 20 feet tall, Farmer The Rigger is an impressive sculpture of an African tribal mask that celebrates the power of vocation. Created by the visionary artist Zulu Heru, this monumental work of art is a tribute to Man's relationship with labor and the belief that 10,000 hours of hard work can make one an expert in their respective field.
Zulu Heru began his career as a farmer, where he learned to be resourceful and work with his hands. He went on to learn various skilled trades; which include welding, heavy equipment operating and sculpting. Over time, he evolved his craft and became a skilled rigger, developing an expertise in the art of securing and moving heavy objects. It is this unique background that inspired Zulu to create his latest masterpiece; titled after his own career, and inspired by the amazing works of esteemed sculptors Uzikee Nelson and Marco Cochrane (Zulu’s personal mentors).
Uzikee Nelson’s Afro-Centric masks are crafted from steel and stained glass. Zulu decided to embed those same materials into his work and especially into Farmer The Rigger. Showcasing this sculpture with the representation of a Tribal Mask with human hands is a tribute to Marco Cochrane’s figurative work specifically.
Let’s get into more specifics - the mask is made of corten steel which represents durability and strength. The stain glass signifies illuminating a higher path. The chain linked arms are actual ship anchor chains, in honor of industrial workers in port cities. And the human shaped hands are a testament to mankind and our ability to learn and create anything we can imagine.
Join us at Burning Man 2023, for a special drum circle that will gather everyone to celebrate and invoke the spirit of creating and building. This is sure to be a truly unforgettable experience for all of those able to witness it.
I am Zulu Heru
Zulu Heru is a multi-talented artist hailing from Richmond, Virginia, currently living Los Angeles, California. Zulu is an engineer, crane operator, and innovative sculpture artist known for his incredible ability to create stunning multi-media afro-eccentric sculptures using up-cycled materials.
Zulu’s journey as an artist began long before he arrived on the West Coast. As a tank Commander in the US Army, Zulu discovered his passion for creating art from scrap metal, industrial parts, and found materials. His talent was undeniable, calling him to withdraw from the Army and pursue his passion for sculpting full-time.
With a BFA in Fine Arts from Howard University and over a decade of welding and metal fabrication experience, Zulu is a master at turning discarded metals into thought-provoking art. He has assisted and collaborated with some of the most innovative sculptors of today, unwavering in his artistic dreams, determined to inspire the next generation to do the same, no matter how big or unconventional they may seem.
FARMER THE RIGGR
Burning Man Festival August 27 – September 04, 2023 in Black Rock City, Nevada.
Meet the talented team behind our current sculpting project! Our team is filled with individuals who have a keen eye for detail and a passion for creativity that is bringing the Farmer the Rigger visions to life.