Handmade Business, April 2015 Issue
Talbotics Transforms Scrap Into Sci-Fi Wonders
Tal Avitzur was raised in Pennsylvania in a family where the sciences were emphasized more than the arts. Tal moved to California to attend college in Santa Barbara. While in school, he lived in a large communal artist compound with a constant stream of artists coming and going. It was then that Tal began to work for a number of artists, including sculptor George Rickey and ceramicist Beatrice Wood. After purchasing a fixer and having a limited budget for the remodel, home improvement projects often included gathering recycled material from construction sites, architectural salvage stores and scrap metal yards. Tal didn't expect to begin collecting other items found in the yards, but some things were just too special not to bring home - even though they weren't needed for the remodel. Before he knew it, his gardening shed became full of vintage tools, kitchen appliances, vacuum cleaners, floor polishers, old scientific equipment and many cool items whose original purpose is a mystery. Tal was spending hours cleaning, dismantling, polishing and sorting. Many of the objects collected came from an era when it seemed as if the designers had secret ambitions to be creating robots and rocket ships, so it felt natural for Tal to start creating those types of sculptures from the found items. Tal Avitzur’s work is heavily influenced by the comics and science fiction books and movies from childhood. Each piece begins with finding the personality in an object, then test-fitting combinations together, and cutting, drilling and grinding until reaching a natural-looking fit. Often lighting is incorporated to bring the piece to life. The workshop bench usually has a few different projects going on at any time. Sometimes, sculptures need to be put aside for months while waiting for just the right salvaged part to materialize. The whole process - from parts scavenging, to creating, to observing the childlike wonder the pieces bring to viewers' faces - is loads of fun. Tal plans on continuing to produce his art for years to come.
Tal Avitzur is an assemblage artist whose found-object sculptures are created from vintage items collected from the auto, aircraft and marine salvage yards of Southern California. Many of his fantasy-themed, mixed-media sculptures are heavily influenced by the science fiction, mythology and comic books of his youth. Tal's unique, whimsical, one-of-a-kind, steampunk-like art can be found in the homes, offices and man-caves of collectors who embrace their inner child. Tal's studio, workshop and gallery is located in Santa Barbara, California and is a short drive from Los Angeles, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties.