"When you walk away from the roots and go on with your life, hopefully the next time you look at a tree, your mind will travel underground and see things not readily apparent," he says. "We all have roots. We all have histories. We all have mysteries below the surface."
Tobin's bronze roots are reminiscent of artist Louise Bourgeois' giant welded spiders, but drained of the terror and the humor. To Tobin, emotions are fleeting; he aspires to something more lasting. "I look at how pieces will function in 500 years," he says. "I look at Easter Island, Stonehenge, the Pyramids. At different times they're integrated into different cultures in different ways. I’m trying to make icons."