He sits over his work bench slicing open another soda can. The next piece coming together in his mind. With a passion for art and a passion for the Earth, Francisco Sheuat decided to mix the two. Sheuat has a unique medium compared to most artists in order to depict his passion, instead of using paint or clay he instead cuts, colors, and shapes aluminum cans. The idea behind using aluminum cans as a medium is meant to embrace the idea of recycling, even in art. He wants to promote a more ecologically conscious world while also doing something more unique in the art world. “I wanted to be different and it took me a while to find my niche,” says Sheuat.
He holds pride in his mixed media approach. “I have been around art my entire life,” Sheuat says, his grandfather, father, uncle, and sisters are all artists. “They have different styles but in one way or another influenced what I do today.” “My imagination and creativity is always stimulated by what is around me.” Originally from Venezuela has been in the US for 35 years and has been located in Fat Village, Fort Lauderdale for eight years. Sheuat says however due to the political situation in Venezuela that he does not plan on going back to Venezuela.
In 2002 Sheuat opened the Art Expressions Gallery which originally only help his own work but he eventually started displaying other artist’s works in order to help promote them and give them some exposure. However like everyone else the Recession hit him hard and he was forced to close doors in 2010.
After that Sheuat obtained a studio where he works with his business partner and fellow artist Julio Green. Sheuat got his start in working with styrofoam, then cola cans and has branched out to many different types of cans from there. He is a self taught artist and is always trying to learn and improve by watching other artists and going to classes to just pick up on specific techniques. One of his brothers lives in Spain and sends him international cans from time to time.
He has no preference in what type of cans he uses and many of his followers donate cans for him to use. In fact most of the cans that Sheuat uses come from donations, to further promote recycling. His art really has no specific guideline. Sheuat makes sculptures, paintings, designs all out of cans. He does not add anything to most of his pieces other than the can itself. If he wants different colors he uses a torch to heat up the metal instead of paint or different cans to add to a landscape. His works span undersea creatures, Dia De Los Muertos skulls, a flamingo sculpture, landscapes and so much more.
After the closing of his studio in 2010 most of Sheuat’s art is displayed in the Art Serve gallery in Fort Lauderdale and through Contemporary Art Project USA. Contemporary Art Project USA is displaying some of his art in Santa Fe, California, for Art Santa Fe, in which he created 14 mandala pieces out of cans.