Brent Guggisberg, does the name ring a bell? No? How about the “kilt man” at Wal-Mart? Yeah, now we’re getting somewhere! Well, Brent Guggisberg is the kilt man of Wal-Mart, but he is also an incredible artistic talent with a passion for making the world a much more beautiful and better place.
From his numerous websites to his art, Guggisberg is creating all over the place. There is so much going on in his mind, that it is no wonder that he has several different creations in the works, all of the time.
In high school in California he got hooked on skim boarding and started his own company Shore Break, making and designing skim boards and T-shirts.
From there he moved on to sculptures — and it really clicked for him. He got a job offer to design six animals for a figurine company. Once he started working in the clay, he found it was a much better fit for his mind.
“My friend Joe and I were airbrushing, and there was this bucket of clay, I just started messing around and found out I could sculpt. It was easier for my mind to work in three dimensional than two, and I was hooked,” Guggisberg said.
Two of his works in progress are The Dragon’s Nest and The Western Slope.
The Dragon’s Nest is a massive concrete structure that looks like rib bones, standing 7 to 8 feet tall, centered in the intertwined bones is a blown-glass egg. This is a work in progress for his mom here in Montrose.
The Western Slope is his vision of Colorado. It is a massive metal C that will have stones and blown glass to represent the mountains, sunrises, and waters of Colorado. “I envision this one sitting in a town square or something, it is a great representation of our state,” he said.
Finishing his art comes down to the cost. “I’ve already spent over $600 in metal alone for The Western Slope, the cost to finish is a little hard, as I work at Wal-mart. The cost to survive is hard, let alone to have enough to be able to create,” he said.
“I need to get another load of concrete in to finish the Nest, but money and temperatures are a concern there too.”
To help offset his production costs, Guggisberg has recreated some of his art onto aluminum which is on display, and for sale, at the Looney Bean.
“Brent is awesome and we like to display local art. His stuff really appeals to a wide variety of people. It really seems like the younger generations enjoy his work, as do I,” Carma Kennedy, one of the owners of the Looney Bean, said.
In the midst of his other physical projects is an online creation, Our Monument to Humanity.
“ I like to have fun but I want to make the world a better place. I’m a professional dreamer,” Guggisberg said.
This monument is a tribute to his dad, and the mission statement is profound:
“We here at Our Monument want to welcome you to the first democratic monument for humanity. Our goal is to be a place that you can submit your heroes to and allow the rest of humanity to vote on who belongs on our monument. We want humanity to grow and become wiser with one another, our observations of each other as well as the universe around us. So with your submissions we all will see what you hold to be important with our society.
“Yes, there is a certain agenda to this monument and that is to show us that we honor those who better our understanding of reality, hammer home the need for constant questioning of purpose, and make life truly a greater reward for humanity here on our planet. There is someone in all our lives that have shown us the doorway of our own knowledge: we are asking you to share yours. Over the next year we ask that you come to this site often and share it with others; to see us, with you; grow.
“Please go to the submission page and read about those who have inspired others. If you feel your hero is worthy of being on the monument than please submit them. Give us your brave beings of thought, who even with pain overcame their struggles in life to show you and now us a better way to be human. This is our monument.”
Each month a new name goes on, so there are always 12 names on the monument. Guggisberg said it is ever-changing and growing as the universe decides what, or who, is important enough to gain the monument.
Another website he created is LaughFax, a place for people to anonymously express their deepest feelings, desires, wishes or gripes. He created this website so he could voice his displeasure at injustices he saw.
“I saw something happen that was wrong, and I was so disappointed in myself for not standing up then and sticking up for the underdog, that I went home and started LaughFax. It was a way to express my discontent, safely,” Guggisberg said.
“I want the world to be a better place, and for people to stick up for the underdog, speak out, stand up, be heard.”
Beautiful Lotto is a web page created to sell some of his work. If you purchase a piece of his art, you are entered into a drawing to win an original sculpture of his.
“It’s a win-win for everyone,” Guggisberg said. “I get my work out there, and people that may not be able to afford an original sculpture, get a chance to win one.”
As Guggisberg puts it: “I want to do artwork to make the world a more beautiful place. That is my only purpose, need or want. That and to have some laughs.”
Leslie Brown is a staff writer for the Montrose Daily Press.