CAMEO - Your Ties Don’t Bind, Tim Shockley

The sculptor returns to his studio after a long, hot summer

Tim Shockley


Tim Shockley always smiles — and not in a way that makes you wonder what he’s thinking. “I’m a happy guy,” the Palm Desert artist says. “I’ve been lucky in life.” Shockley, an Indio High School alumnus, has found his groove in a series of work called Loose Ties, which he shows at J. Willott Gallery on El Paseo. We caught up with Shockley after he returned from Laguna Beach, where he has a long relationship with the Festival of Arts.

What triggered the Loose Ties series?
The ties were a breakthrough. I was given a blank white tie to create a piece of art for a charity auction. I wanted to approach it on a sculptural level. The shape of the tie reminded me of a cobra skin that my father brought back from Indonesia. I put a wire through the tie to make the first piece. Then I figured out how to cast them in bronze.

The sculptures make you think a bit differently about ties.
Yes, they’re manipulated in ominous serpentine poses. You wonder: Are they there to protect your interests or to devour you? Ties are weird — often a façade. They used to command respect, but not always anymore. A murderer caught running naked through the street will show up in a courtroom wearing a tie. Ties can also be fun — with polka dots, stripes, and patterns. Each piece demands its own response.

What other projects are you working on?
I want to focus on large public pieces like Tree Huggers — life-sized, stainless steel figures. As a tree grows, the bark wraps around the figure’s arms and makes it look like it’s squeezing the tree. I also revisit earlier series. The more you know about materials, the more freedom you have in your creative process. So I refine older ideas, such as Tempus Fugit (Time Flies) — large-scale totems with a modern, manmade exterior and an interior that encapsulates bronze elements, such as fish bones and fossils.

What’s your relationship to Laguna Beach?
I spent my whole life between Laguna and the desert. I’ve been participating with the Festival of Arts on and off for 12 years. It’s a good show to get work seen: 3,000 people a day, seven days a week for two months. I also organize a show of youth artwork for Orange County students. As schools cut art, we fill in some of the gap. It’s nice to give back to the kids, and they get so excited by it.

Comments to this website are moderated by staff. While all comments are welcome, we encourage all to be polite and please do not use this system for advertising or business promotions. Any complaint towards a business or service should be directed directly to that business and not posted here. If anyone has a complaint that a comment is defamatory, please contact me at and I will take appropriate action promptly. Thank You

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Palm Springs Life
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Lance Bass, Michael Turchin Wedding has its Beginnings in Palm Springs

Lance Bass and Michael Turchin will tie the knot on Dec. 20 as part of a E! network TV special, but the romance began nearly four years ago in one of their favorite places to visit: Palm Springs.

Happy 2015!

Ring in the new year at a party that suits your style. 3, 2, 1 ... Cheers!

Frank Sinatra Jr. Helps Bring in 2015 at Riviera Palm Springs

Frank Sinatra Jr. will help New Years Eve revelers bring in 2015 when he performs at the Riviera Palm Springs featuring songs from his legendary father and Palm Springs icon, Frank Sinatra, and his own.

Indian Wells Golf Resort Hosts Pro-Am Invitational

The Indian Wells Pro-Am Invitational golf event will tee-off Jan. 31, 2015 at the prestigious Players Course at Indian Wells Golf Resort.

The Venue Sushi Bar & Sake Lounge Puts New Twist on Wine Pairings

Known for adventurous ingredients and unique flavor combinations, Chef Engin Onural has begun a unique paired wine and sushi dinner event at The Venue Sushi Bar & Sake Lounge in Palm Desert.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Fashionista Friends

Fashionista Friends

Experience the glitz and glamour of Fashion Week El Paseo 2015.
2014/15 Best of the Best

2014/15 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.