The words of Alice, “curiouser and curiouser,” come to mind as one gains up-close access to Brian and Sarah Maupin’s conventional-looking Lake Highlands home. As in Wonderland, things are much more fantastic here than they initially seem. The red pickup truck out front, for example, runs on used vegetable oil rather than gasoline. The living room looks normal — a comfy sofa, bookshelves, two resting charcoal Labradors — but metallic art pieces, a charming lug-nut giraffe for example, hint at something extraordinary. Old arcade games including a completely refurbished Space Invaders and Spy Hunter line a room that opens up to the garage, where the magic happens. Here, Brian keeps his welding machine and torch, a gift from Sarah, and his current project, a life-sized man made of salvaged metals. He doesn’t have a name yet, but don’t call him “Robot Man.” “It’s more fun when you don’t look at him as a machine,” Brian says. His feet are heavy, crude, concrete-like and rooted in the ground. His legs look like DNA strands, and a cross-like structure at his heart represents spirituality, Brian says, turning the metal man’s moveable hands upward. It is all about about using everything to the fullest. That applies to objects and people alike, he says. “I just want to bring the most out of everything. Like the beauty in the architecture of old circuit boards,” he says, and produces one of the many clocks he has fashioned from e-waste. An object might reach a point where its usefulness is purely aesthetic, says Brian, who took a welding class after gleaning inspiration years ago from the White Rock Lake Artists’ Studio Tour. Take the computer server that once held the entire AT&T marketing database, which he used to create the impressive Dallas skyline hanging in his front room: “The guys at work joked that when they retired the server, they would give it to me for my art,” says Brian, who works in marketing for AT&T. “When it hit the end of life, they sent it to me and billed me $1. Now you have this scene of technology bursting out of this urban landscape.”
The words of Alice, “curiouser and curiouser,” come to mind as one gains up-close access to Brian and Sarah Maupin’s conventional-looking Lake Highlands home.