Tal Avitzur is a California-based sculptor who uses found objects to create fantasy-themed assemblage sculptures. Born in Haifa in 1962, the artist was raised in Pennsylvania and moved to Santa Barbara in 1983 to study for a master's degree in math. While in school he worked for sculptor George Rickey, ceramicist Beatrice Wood and painter Irma Cavat.
During an extended remodel of my Santa Barbara home I began searching metal scrap yards for brass, bronze and copper objects to embed in a concrete kitchen countertop. I was amazed at what I found: vintage vacuum cleaners, floor polishers, kitchen appliances, tools, lab equipment, and many things whose original use will always remain a mystery. I knew that if I did not take them home they would be hauled away and lost forever. Thus began my obsession with collecting. It did not take long for the search for parts to expand to auto and marine salvage yards, constructions sites, swap meets and even the curbside. Oftentimes things appear at my front door, thanks to friends.
After bringing parts to the workshop, they are cleaned, disassembled (if necessary), sometimes polished, then sorted. Each sculpture begins with finding the personality in an object, then test fitting combinations together, and cutting, drilling and grinding until reaching a natural-looking fit. 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. Making these found-object sculptures has allowed me to indulge my passion for creating art, while giving new life to discarded objects, and perhaps preserving a bit of industrial history.
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.