David Klass’ sculptural work encompasses human figures, animal figures and Judaic creations. Daughter Of The Arts brings you this exclusive glimpse of several of his special creations.
DOTA: Where are you from originally? As a youngster, when were you first interested in art and design?
DK: I was born in Washington DC and grew up in New Jersey. I became interested in art in high school.
DOTA: What factors do you consider when you begin to develop a piece?
DK: Sometimes it is purely the visual -design elements that come first, other times it is the content or what the piece is saying that starts the process.
DOTA: What inspires you in your work?
DK: Good art inspires me.
DOTA: When did you first develop work on Jewish themes? What was your first piece?
DK: In 1968 I was assisting a Judaica artist and he introduced me to a Judaica store, Ben Ari Arts in NYC. I began creating pieces for him and then went off on my own.
DOTA: Describe the development of your “Spirit of Dance” bronze figure?
DK: I was using a dancer as a model and he took a variety of poses of which this one was most interesting and it became the piece.
“Spirit of Dance”
Bronze 76” high
Private Collection, Los Angeles , CA
DOTA: Describe the development of your Hanukah menorah Hora Dancers?
DK: Sometimes I work very realistically as in the Spirit of Dance and other times I work more abstractly and will create a piece such as the Hora Dancers. The concept was to create a piece using dancers and as it was more for the general public rather than an art market I decided to work more abstractly.
DOTA: What techniques are prominent in these pieces?
DK: These pieces were first created in clay, then a mold was made from them and finally the piece was cast from the mold.
“Hora Dancers” Hanukiah (clay prototype)
“Hora Dancers” Hanukiah (final, bronze)
DOTA: What materials do you favor in creating sculpturing pieces how do you decide?
DK: I work in many materials: clay, wax, plaster, stone, welded metals. I like working in different mediums, it provides interest to me.
DOTA: Do you have a favorite piece?
DK: I’ve created many good pieces. Pegasus may be my signature piece.
Welded Bronze 10′ high
Collection of the Artist
DOTA: Have there been particular incidents that have shaped your work?
DK: I apprenticed with a sculptor, Theodore Roszak, and his techniques and thought processes have guided me. Nature, structures, and technology also inspire me.
DOTA: Do you feel a need to work in particular materials? Why?
DK: After working in a particular medium I get “bored” and then like to work in another medium.
DOTA: What would you say are the most distinctive features of your work?
DK: Clarity of structure and good design are two strong components of my work.
DOTA: What other comments would you like to convey about your work?
DK: I hope people find my work challenging, interesting and inspiring.
David Klass’ website
David Klass graduated from Pratt Institute in 1966 where he studied art and architecture. He went on to work with Theodore Roszak, and then set up his own studio in New York City. To further his understanding of the human body in 1973 and 1974, Mr. Klass studied anatomy at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. Through his deep understanding of anatomy he developed a unique sculptural approach of teaching anatomy and has instructed other artists for over 25 years.
His work is known for its powerful realism. In addition to his human figures his knowledge of anatomy and structures has allowed him to create animal sculptures with equal ease and facility. In 1991 the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City commissioned him to create two life size horses for their Arms and Armor Wing.
David Klass is a member of the National Sculpture Society and has been showing his work professionally since 1962. His work is in numerous private and public collections.