The vision of Lotus Sculpture began when founder Kyle Tortora began traveling in the mid-90s. In 1995, his first adventure was in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he spent two weeks meditating in a Buddhist temple at the young age of 18. After studying religion at the University of Richmond, he spent the next three years backpacking around Southeast Asia, hungry for the experiences of foreign lands and people and in love with the mystical stories behind all religions. He came back to New York City and spent two years selling website development services to small businesses. After never feeling satisfied with his work, he left and went to India for the first time.
In India, Tortora wanted to satisfy his passion for travel while searching for something that would enable him to earn a living. Beyond that, Tortora realized his growing desire to delve deeper into the complexities of the religions of the East was something he wanted to pursue. When he saw his first bronze Nataraja statue, he knew he had to find out how these beautiful works of art were made. When he learned the difficulty and tedious process of making these statues, he saw how artists’ lives were being impacted by the lack of demand for these handcrafted statues.
Tortora returned home after seven months abroad and was able to finance a return trip to India with the intention of opening up a new market for Indian bronze artists to sell their work through the internet, hoping to fulfill a job for himself while increasing Western exposure to the beauty and complexity of Eastern religious art. A year later, Lotus Sculpture was born!
Lotus Sculpture has expanded to include artists from Bangladesh, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Bali. Tortora regularly travels to visit the artisans and buy directly from them, hand-picking each statue and paying particular attention to all the details, bringing the most beautiful, one-of-a-kind statues to his website.