If you live in the Mobile Bay area, you’re in the midst of Bruce Larsen’s world, whether you know it or not. If you don’t, then you’d best wake up to the fact.
The sculptor has built a global reputation for his wildly innovative found-art pieces owned by the likes of Bill Clinton, Robert Kennedy Jr., Nicolas Cage, Robert Plant, Sting, Chelsea Clinton, Nall, Rick Bragg, Mark Ruffalo, Phillippe Cousteau, the Prince of Jordan, the Prince of Malaysia and the Crown Prince of Bahrain.
Born in Birmingham, Alabama, to an Auburn University forestry and wildlife professor, he indulged his wanderlust while young. After working as an airbrush artist in New Jersey, he returned south and completed his degree at Auburn.
Larsen settled in Atlanta but eventually moved to Fairhope, drawn by the town’s reputation for cultivating artists and its proximity to the bay and the Gulf of Mexico. He claims to be inspired by the water.
The artist also found it a great place to “drop off the map” in order to raise a family and escape the showbiz life, as he wished.Of course, Larsen’s biggest splash has been in his Gulf Coast environs. His pieces, large and small, appear at Mobile Botanical Gardens, the U.S. Sports Academy, the University of South Alabama, USA Women and Children’s Hospital, public spaces like Dauphin Street and even at the Hangout Music and Arts Festival. Away from the coast, you can find his art at NASA, Huntsville Museum of Art and Auburn University.
Larsen’s work has been commissioned to serve as the awarded pieces for the Annual Riverkeepers’ Fisherman’s Ball in New York City. The Riverkeepers honor individuals and companies whose commitment to environmental protection serves as inspiration for the group’s efforts.
Just as impressive is his body of film work. Larsen’s dedicated and accurate work with practical effects has landed him jobs in nearly 40 movies, including “Lincoln,” “The Patriot” and “Planet of the Apes.” He has delivered in rendering life-like wounded soldiers, but his specialty is with animatronic horses.
Larsen has enjoyed jobs before the camera as well. He didn’t just construct a gorilla suit for the film “Dumb and Dumberer,” but also played the role.
Such work has taken him to Kazakhstan and expanded his renown to locales such as Tuscany, where his work appeared in a fine-art show. It has also brought him additional jobs for commercials and television shows.