Dialogue in Metal

Albert Paley           Albert Paley

World-renowned sculpture artist Albert Paley and Jesse James of West Coast Choppers fame collaborate to make two sculptures.


Each artist starts one sculpture and finishes the others.


Dialogue in metal sculptures

The sculptures featured in Dialogue in Metal are currently for sale and on display at WRIGHT in Chicago, Illinois.

For more information:https://wright-now.com/search/paley.


With unprecedented access to both artists, WXXI spent roughly a year chronicling the creative journeys of Paley and James as they worked to create these two different sculptures. Filming began in January of 2017 when Paley traveled to James’ studio in Austin, Texas. There, James revealed the impetus behind this project, his long-time admiration of Paley’s work.

After that meeting in Austin, the two artists returned to their studios to begin construction of their sculptures in isolation. Neither one knew what the other would do. WXXI’s camera crew visited Paley’s studio in downtown Rochester to document his work, and then returned to Austin to see James’ progress. The half-finished sculptures were then delivered to their respective studios and a new chapter of work began. Along the way, Paley and James share their techniques and explain various processes in metalwork, including the oldest form – forging.

As both artists dramatically differ in function, form, and process, WXXI captures their styles, personalities, and the way they embraced the challenges of each other’s creation. The end result was the unveiling of the sculptures at FABTECH 2017, North Americans’ largest metal forming, fabricating, welding, and finishing event in Chicago. Viewers will see the artists’ reactions to each other’s piece as they share their thoughts on their work and the journey. The project was more than just Jesse’s dream or an artist challenge, it was a philanthropic endeavor with proceeds from the two sculptures funding a scholarship in support of students pursuing metal work.

Trailer for Dialogue In Metal

Albert Paley

"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

"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


Segment 1

Industrial Revolution

Segment 3


Segment 5

Art is Challenging

Segment 7

Industrial arts

Segment 9


Segment 2


Segment 4


Segment 6


Segment 8

Understanding Process