Chris Barela’s love for the water has been life long. Growing up at the beach and becoming a pro surfer allowed Chris to travel the world. At the peak of Chris’s surfing career he had made it into the finals at the Banzai Pipeline Masters.
Having traveled the world’s oceans Chris retired from professional surfing however, he still wanted to stay connected, that connection inspired him to create his first line of bronze sculptures, an amazingly life like collection of big game fish, Barela created his own billiant patina formulas that are now widly used internationally .
As Barela’s sculpture line grew so did the opportunities, he accepted various commissions including The Zane Grey “Tales of the Gladiator”, Ted Williams, Memorial Sculpture, Public installations such as Marlin fountains in Key West, FL. & Salmon Fountain located in Medford, OR., The Tim Kelly Statue that sits at the base of the Hermosa Beach Pier, Chris’s home town and most recently the Bob & Bill Meistrell statue at Sea side Lagoon in Redondo Beach CA.. Along with the public arts commissions Chris’s commissioned works are owned and exhibited by celebrities, public institutions and professional firms.
Barela’s passion for nature is the driving force behind his art …Chris’s talents are not limited to bronze sculptures, he excels at photography and filmmaking and recently was awarded first place in the Hawaii Ocean Film Festival for his short film on octopus.
It is with out question that Barela has become one of the worlds best sculptors/patina artist, which grants him the honor of being one of the most influential artist of today.Barela's charming sea turtles evoke both the wisdom and playful demeanor of these sage elder statesmen who live beneath the waves. Chris often sees and films turtles from his surfboard, and says that every time is a special encounter that leaves him smiling. "Each turtle has a unique personality, and the way they cruise around at a leisurely pace is a reminder to us to slow down and enjoy life too. They definitely like to come around and check out the humans, see what we're up to in their living room."