THE SCULPTURES OF M. T. LIGGETT

M. T. Liggett was born into a sharecropping family in tiny Mullinville, Kansas (about 30 miles east of Dodge City) in the 1930's.  After a career in the military, he returned to Mullinville and settled on the farm where he had been born.  

In 1989, Liggett  began creating metal sculptures.   He uses a plasma arc cutter and an arc welder to turn old farm equipment, car parts, road signs, and any other odd bits of iron he can lay his hands on, into fantastic characters which adorn his property, on the side of Route 400 just west of town.  Most of Liggett's sculptures are brightly painted, and many have moving parts that spin and flash in the hot Kansas sun.  

The most striking characteristic of Liggett's art, though, is its edgy wit and overt political bite. It is immediately apparent, that Liggett is a man with opinions to spare, which he likes to share. 

Most of his sculptures are basically fantastic, funny, ferocious political cartoons.  They reach from international themes ("Greeenpeace") to the local (a news anchor skewered as the "CROC-TV Newshound"). A number of figures depict loves of Liggett's life (a charming one is "Enchantress looking for a bow").  Some are captioned in various foreign languages ("Nero Cuore Vecchia Borsa").  Some depict characters that seem to have sprung entirely from Liggett's imagination.

 

It is difficult to place Liggett on the political spectrum.  You may think you have him figured out from works like those depicting Hillary Clinton as "Our Jack-Booted Eva Braun" and Janet Reno as "Queen of Waco" and "Bitch of Buchenwald",  and then be scratching your head in front of "Dubya - Bring Back Slick Willie" and "Jesse Helms loves Margaret Thatcher".

The overly-sensitive should be forewarned: there are images here to offend every taste. 

 

 

 

Links to other websites about M. T. Liggett and his sculptures-- 

  

Photographer D. Gorton maintains this site with a few B&W photos, 
as well as a short movie clip.  At:
www.dgorton.com/liggett/m_t_liggett.html

 

  

 


PHOTOGRAPHY
BY DAVE NANCE
   

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2004 David B. Nance