This past weekend, Kat and I traveled to Philadelphia to visit two of our best friends, Tal Ben-Yaacov and Asuka Goto, both extremely talented sculptors. Tal has his first real post-college show of his sculpture at in West Philadelphia at The Saturn Club, and we were happily obligated to be there to help set up and attend the opening.
He is showing five large sculptures in total, three completed in the last couple of months. Tal’s work is a mix of found objects, mainly metal car parts and organic plaster and wooden shapes. The metal pieces are brightly painted while the plaster often remains its natural pale white color.
I am of course partial, but I love Tal’s work. The lines are so clean, yet even the most clearly engineered metal objects are given the quality of life within the context of his complete pieces. The bright colors of his metal work, at first estrange the objects from any natural or organic interpretation, but when combined with the seemingly fluid plaster objects are given life. They would walk – they would hum – if you gave them the right push.
In his plaster works especially there is a dialogue about process and creation. The works are initially cast in plastic bags or with wooden forms. Then after being formed with drills and chisels, are given up to nature, being organically disintegrated by water (a stream in fairmont park). The end effect is an evocation of the original shape, including the taught-ness of the form, however, eroded, recreated, and reformed in a way that could only be the work of the chaotic and random nature of a water.
In this way, Tal’s work speaks of its own genesis. It’s about the reformation, the refactoring, of disparate energies and objects.
I’m trying to help him put together a website, but in the meantime you can see more pictures of his show at my flickr stream. If you’re interested in purchasing or commissioning work from him, or just finding out more info – you can email him at tbenyaacov at gmail.