Assemblage artist Tal Avitzur in studio, with German Shepherd dog Mancha.


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.

Santa Barbara artist Tal Avitzur and his creature sculptures.

About Santa Barbara Artist / Sculptor Tal Avitzur