OTA Contemporary celebrates its first anniversary with a special show featuring paintings, monotypes and digital works by artist/owner Kiyomi Baird and steel and bronze sculptures by New Jersey artist Robert Koch.
Koch, a native of Pennsylvania who studied art education in college, is new to exhibiting work in Santa Fe. He’s bringing large-scale pieces and small-scale sculptures to the show.
“My materials are the same materials used in the construction of buildings,” says Koch. “My goal is to try to give the steel some life or have it capture a split second of movement.”
Through the years, Koch has developed techniques that help him create the soft curves in his work. “When you bend steel and then add all of the intense heat from welding, the steel wants to revert back to its original flat and straight origin,” he explains. “To avoid this, I cut all the material into short pieces and reassemble them into the curves. I use a sort of brick laying composition and stagger the ends of the pieces to help maintain the forms.”
One of his pieces in the show, “Totem,” was influenced by Hindu Jagannath deities. Other works have been inspired by the beach and the way dune grass and plants grow in clusters. Koch’s steel spheres weigh approximately 55 pounds but appear almost delicate. “The negative space and shadows are important components in these pieces,” he says.
Koch, who has gallery representation in the East Coast and whose sculptures are in many public and corporate collections, is delighted to be able to introduce his work to the Santa Fe community.
“I feel we put together a cohesive collection that shows a bit of the range of my work,” he adds. “It’s a nice introduction of what I do to Santa Fe’s art lovers.”