Bring the metal to life. This is my challenge and my goal as an artist.
I’ve been a full-time artist since 2005. Stainless steel is my main medium of expression. My process integrates fluid shapes, kinetic motion, sensual form, reflective light and rich color to transform a sheet of cold, hard steel. The materials and methods of construction give permanence to my dreams.
My metalworking and mechanical skills have been honed over decades developing industrial equipment (an earlier career) and restoring classic cars and motorcycles (a nearly lifelong interest). While that background may seem unusual for an artist, my earliest memories growing up in New York are of being surrounded by art and antiquities. My mother was an accomplished painter; my grandparents and parents were deeply involved with antiques and art as collectors and dealers. However, it was a distinct experience when I was twelve that sparked my future life as a kinetic artist.
In 1964 while visiting our grandparents in New York City, I visited the Alexander Calder exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum. To that point, whenever my brothers and I entered a gallery, museum or antique shop, the words we heard were, “Boys, put your hands in your pockets and do not touch anything.”
Then came the Calder exhibit. As I stood before one of Calder’s sculptures, the docent said to me, “Go ahead, son, make it move; bring it to life.”
In that moment, my imagination was ignited. The docent’s invitation was like magic to me, expanding the world of art to include more than objects hanging on walls or sitting on shelves gathering dust and admiration.
I had no idea my path in life would eventually lead to my career as an artist, but the docent’s encouragement that day when I encountered Calder’s mobile is where it started. Make it move; bring it to life.
Thank you to Aaron Martin of Music and Motion Pictures for this profile, with original music by Mike Wojniak.