Wright is pleased to debut two unique sculptures born out of an extraordinary collaboration between two artists with diverse styles: the world-renowned sculptor Albert Paley and Jesse James of West Coast Choppers fame.

The works are on view at FABTECH Chicago through November 9th. After which the works will transfer to our Chicago gallery to be sold at auction on November 17th. All proceeds from the sale will support grants and education opportunities for the metal working trades.

Albert Paley and Jesse James  

The Sculptural Debut

When two craftsmen that truly love metal can come together in an organic way and create, expect something amazing to happen. My biggest hope for this project is to inspire people and let them know that nothing is impossible. As long as you are willing to work hard and never quit.

Jesse James

Albert Paley

Albert Paley’s most famous commission, the portal gates of the Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution at Washington D.C., was completed in 1974 just five years after he made his first piece of ironwork. Trained at Tyler School of Art as a jeweler, Paley acquired a command for working with metals exploring the inherent and natural qualities of his materials and pushing them to their full potential.

Paley’s jewelry of the 1960s and 1970s were exceptional statements of bodily ornamentation or wearable works of art that forged the way for the functional and decorative objects he would later make. Crossing the boundaries between art and craft, Paley has established himself as one of the greatest metal artists in the country. Throughout his career, he has completed several important private and public site-specific commissions; his works have been widely published and can be found in multiple major museum collections around the world. 

Paley and James in the Workshop

Both Jesse and I have worked several decades with metal and metal technology. What I do and what he does is incredibly sophisticated. In the past, people have approached me to collaborate but I never thought it was a situation that was viable. What we have established about building these two sculptures is a very unique opportunity.

Albert Paley

Jesse James

Jesse James was born in Lynwood California in 1969. Raised in Long Beach, James learned to weld at a young age working in his father’s antique shop. At twelve, his first project was restoring an old Schwinn bicycle which he promptly sold for a profit. By his freshman year of high school, James had fashioned his first motorcycle exhaust system in his mother’s garage. After an injury ended his college football career, James worked as a bodyguard for big-name musical acts including Soundgarden, Danzig and Slayer.  In the late 1980s, his focus returned to motorcycles and he studied welding and fabricating skills under legendary hot rod designers Boyd Coddington and Fay Butler. In the early 1990s, James founded West Coast Choppers and quickly gained a reputation for fashioning extraordinary and expertly built custom motorcycles. In 2002, his series Monster Garage debuted on The Discovery Channel, launching James into stardom. The following year, People magazine named him one of the sexiest men alive, although James insisted that he would “…rather be named Welder of the Year”. While his professional titles have transitioned from custom car and motorcycle builder, to producer, CEO and philanthropist, James remains a passionate craftsman and master welder intent on creating with his hands. 

The Paley-James Project

For more information about
this sale, please contact:

312 563 0020

Auction / Chicago
17 November 2017
12 pm central

Preview / Chicago
13 – 17 November 2017
10 am – 4 pm 

Lot listings to coincide with
the debut of the sculptures

at FABTECH 2017, Chicago  
on 6 November 2017