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Jim Gary




Jim Gary Well, basically, again I’m not a scientist. I’m an artist. I’m not looking at this whole thing as scientific, you know – the study of anything. This is how I see these things, how I’m interpreting them. They’re not a scientific study. I’m doing a sculpture that I think is aesthetically okay, and that’s it. The thought of recycling or the scientific approach – I could care less what the scientists think about it.

DKD How can you be so accurate in your work, presenting the skeletal frame so exactly, down to the correct number of bones in accurate placement? Everything is anatomically correct yet you say you are not versed in paleontology as a science? Scientists give you rave reviews!

Jim Gary Yes, they are close. I don’t look at it in that way. So, I don’t know what label to put on it (referring to a large Tyrannosaurus Rex sculpture gloating over some smaller reptile it has just overcome – life-size skeletons you can easily imagine with flesh and blood bodies, coming to life before your eyes.) Does it need a label? I like what I’m doing… being able to do what I do. I like these little comical figures, some of them birds out of metal car parts, painted bright cheery colours, frozen for a moment as they pause from their race around the room just long enough to oil themselves!! They’re a lot of fun. They all have an aura of action and confusion trying to create the other things that make them look the way they do. And it’s that doing the nudes and other abstracts and things like that – it bores me to tears. It’s just so simple, it’s dumb. Just like, ‘You want an abstract, I’ll give you an abstract.’ That is why, by looking at a cross-section of my work you will see I do a little of everything. I run into people who swore that you could only do dinosaurs.

DKD Well, if you can do that, what can’t you do?

JG I’ve done it… the torso, the abstracts, whatever, and I’m saying, ‘What do you want me to do?’ My torsos have won every show I’ve put them in; the abstracts have won; the animals have won.

DKD What do you think of someone like Henry Moore?

JG I love his work. The vertebrae series especially.

DKD Would you feel comfortable with, or even want to do, something like that yourself?

JG No, he’s done that – that’s great. You can recognize Henry Moore. There are only a few people in this country you can see and say, ‘That’s a Henry Moore.’ Or, ‘That’s a Caulder.’ You know, ‘That’s an Oldenberg,’ but the rest of them are just a mixture of everybody else and there’s not many people where you could just sit down, put a sculpture up and know who’s it is. Only a few of ‘em have fingerprints that don’t change, that are just there. And that’s what I really wanted my own things to be – to have their own set of fingerprints, so anyone would know, ‘That’s a Gary.’ They wouldn’t mistake my work for anyone else’s. Before I was ‘doing things,’ everything I did was shades of everybody else. But you know different things, you try to do something, you try to keep going, and you try to keep better than everybody else. And so, I was always searching for things and I’d find something I thought was good, and I’d look.

I traveled around the country to see who was doing this and that, you know, and you always come up with somebody who’s doing something like you’re doing. Then I finally said, ‘I’d better get up on dinosaurs – there’s nobody doing this.’ And so I said okay. I finally got something better.

All my nudes and torsos, they were something that was different, but they were still nudes and torsos. Nobody’s ever taken the dinosaurs and built them from the bones out – they always go the other route: the skin and the appearance of what they already look like. If I used bones to make my dinosaurs, I’d be just another scientist, but I’m not doing that. I’m taking other components and making you think they’re bones. I instill an attitude into the sculpture because the parts don’t give you attitude; they’re just there, you know. But I take parts and make you think you’re looking at what you’re looking at… and you are.

It’s caused a lot of problems with a lot of people, especially people who “know art,” as we say; where do they put the line; where do they define what is real and what is not, say what is abstract and what is realism. Am I abstract or am I realism?

But you’re looking at a dinosaur. But is it abstract or is it real? And it’s caused so many problems with this structured society; how do they classify me? And it’s just boiled down to that. They had to make a choice, because they can’t throw me out because I’m not either one of those things, just in another category – basically by myself.

And that’s one of my problems. When you’re so different than anybody else. You can look at these things, and looking at them first hand you think somebody made them to look like bones. But I did not make these pieces; they were there and I took them and make you think they were bones. So, this is a little battle in the art scene. Because they look at it as “just assembling bones” and I’m not doing that. I got accepted into the Art Society (finally) WITHOUT a classification.

Part II of my interview with Jim Gary, his dinosaurs, and colourful life



"Amulets and Talismans" ~ text by
Rev. DonnaKova Dauser - ask
about getting your copy.

Your perfect walk in the park
handfeeding the peacock * power sites






with the

An Interview
Jim Gary

DonnaKova Dauser


This interview began at the beautiful entry plaza leading into The Academy of Arts and Sciences in Golden Gate Park. The flavor of an awe-inspiring atmosphere is carried through this conversation with Jim Gary, one of our most gifted and innovative sculptors.

Good vibrations of the past, present, and future materialized in the form of dinosaurs everywhere. The public was invited to celebrate the opening of San Francisco’s monumental exhibit, "Tunnel In Time," a visual presentation of the history of the world we know. Gary’s art has the power to transfix, not just because the size is so compelling, but because of the feeling that these life-size sculptures could easily come to life.

Keep in mind this is before Stephen Spielberg’s, JURASSIC PARK and Dinotopia. And one final note about San Francisco “The City That Knows How” by way of this introduction – they went the distance and brought us THE DINOSAURS for a free afternoon concert.




Dinosaur art by Jim Gary may be found in THE NEW BOOK OF KNOWLEDGE (pgs 254-255) and in Walt Disney’s WONDERFUL WORLD OF KNOWLEDGE YEARBOOK 1985
(page 84).

You can see these magnificent art forms in the feature motion picture HOWARD THE DUCK, from George Lucas.

George Lucas, Director fanpage


The exhibit has traveled internationally for almost two decades. Dinosaurs represented, one as large as 60 feet long and 18 feet tall, include Brontosaurus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, and Tyrannosaurus.

You want to know the time?
You mean now?

-Yogi Berra

Dine with the dinosaurs

10 Forward Star Trek galley, Colour Us Inn, Indiana Jones Menu, Innholders' Company, It's All In The Sauce
Jupiter Table, magic spice, Mercury Table, Oracle's Lab, shrmx, star inn -Star Wars, vittles

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