Oscar Pumpin

Our store currently holds four sculptures from the world renowned artist Oscar Pumpin. Also known as a Michaelangelo of Metalwork, Pumpin has been making his famous sculptures for almost five decades. He first gained notoriety back in 1984, when the Republican Party commissioned him to make a sculpture for the Republican National Convention in Dallas. He delivered a “Junkyard Jumbo”, which was a 10-foot, 1,000-pound elephant sculpture constructed from 70 old car bumpers. It was popular enough that People Magazine even did a short feature on it.

Pumpin arrived fairly late in the game with his unique brand of art. He was a car salesman for a couple of decades before he first began experimenting with his vehicular material. In 1973, Pumpin created his first completed object made out of a chrome car bumper, and since then he’s been perfecting his craft. Now his son is finding his own path made of metal, right here in Tarpon Springs.

Pumpin’s work (along with his son) blends the natural beauty of life with the starkly unnatural material of the modern world. His catalog of work includes horses, owls, fish, dogs, gorillas, and many more creatures typically viewed on electronic screens, rather than in day-to-day life. A sense of nostalgia lays within every sculpture constructed of old automobiles—almost forging a connection between the abandoned wonder of the natural world and the abandoned marvels of American utopia.

From the New York Times, to Popular Mechanics, to the Los Angeles Times, Pumpin’s sculptures are regarded as truly one-of-a-kind. Visit our store at Pinellas Avenue and see for yourself what makes these creations so incredible.

November 14th

It is with great sadness that we announce that on November 11th, Oscar passed away. Oscar had been battling bone cancer for a while, and his situation deteriorated over the weekend. He was surrounded by loved ones when he went to be with the Lord.

Perhaps the most amazing thing about artists is their work’s ability to transcend time. Whether it’s 1000 years or 10, a piece of art communicates the same feelings it did when it was first created. Oscar is no different. His beautiful machinations speak to a nation that seeks to mesh its industrial future with its natural wonders. Every piece of metal that his hands touched was the paint for his canvass. Amidst the sharp and tough material was a vision of harmony. 

In our times on earth, we were fortunate enough to know Oscar the artist and Oscar the person. In both he was loving and upbeat. It’s always hard to say goodbye, and we pray that the Pumpin family is comforted in knowing that Oscar resides in heaven. Thanks to his work, there will always be a reminder of who he was and what made him so special to everyone he came in contact with and everyone who saw his pieces.