Wire mesh a flexible medium for sculptor
Editor’s note: Portrait of the Artist is a regular feature in Enjoy! that spotlights artists with exhibits in the Hudson Valley. If you are an artist in a current or upcoming exhibit and would like to be included in this feature, firstname.lastname@example.org. This week’s Portrait of the Artist features Kaya Deckelbaum, whose work is on display at Gallery 66 NY in Cold Spring through April 26.
When did you first realize you wanted to be an artist?
About eight years ago, I took a private sculpting lesson in clay. The instructor (and I) was surprised that I could produce human forms so well without any prior studies or training in art. I was hooked. I bought clay, sculpting instruments, took more lessons and started a new, wonderful journey.
Tell us about your art on view at Gallery 66 NY and what inspired you to select it for the show.
“Shadows” the subject of the exhibition at Gallery 66 NY fits my work like a see-through glove. The transparency of the wire mesh with proper lighting allows (draws) a new figure of shadow on the wall, which adds a fourth dimension to my art. It is a dynamic way of engaging light and art.
Do you stick to a certain theme in your work or like to explore new techniques and subjects?
My creativity and imagination are expressed through my art. These evolve as the subjects change with the flexibility of my medium. The ways a sculpture molds itself in my hand often will hint of an unexpected image which requires unexpected techniques to best express my own feelings and the subject itself.
What is it about wire mesh as a medium that excites you?
The flexibility of the wire mesh and its transparency are special to my art. My sculptures embrace the environment and their mood change according to the source of light. The morning light or the softness of dusk will continually interact with the individual sculpture.
What do you hope viewers come away with after seeing your work?
One has to remember that wire mesh is an industrial material which through my manipulation turns into an expressive sculpture. I hope the viewer can sense the excitement and the feelings emanating from my creation.
How have you handled the business side of being an artist?
Being a businesswoman in handling my own art is the hardest part of being an artist. I have to handle my own administrative duties and have enough time to create.
Who are some of your favorite artists?
I love the work of Giacometti, his tall, lean sculptures. Gauguin is a painter I like very much and, of course, many others.
If we were to get a peek inside your journal or sketchbook, what would we see?
You cannot get a peek into my sketchbook because I do not draw. I conceive ideas in my head, they translate into sculptures which I continually manipulate with novel ideas and feelings until they become a “living,” expressive art form.
What art do you have hanging on your walls at home?
I like primitive, native art. I lived and traveled in Africa and Canada, and at home I have African sculptures, Inuit art and, of course, my own art as well.
How does your background contribute to your process as an artist?
My background is who I am. The process of creating starts with evoking places and situations I have experienced which result in my art.
What excites you about art — what keeps you interested?
Art is an exciting domain. It allows me to express myself in a way that only I can do and this is addictive.
What is your most ambitious project?
This year is a very exciting year for me. I will participate in “Select” in Chelsea, in May and I was invited to participate in the Florence Biennale, in October.
Kaya Deckelbaum is a figurative sculptor from New York, whose art is a reflection of her Bulgarian, Israeli and Canadian heritage. She has exhibited in many studios in North America and her work is part of the permanent collection of the Hecht Museum in Israel. Visit www.kayadeckelbaum.com; also visit http://gallery66ny.com/current-exhibition/