Inside the Studio

Tzachi Nevo’s Creates Colorful, Abstracted Sculptures

What are the major themes you pursue in your work?

The main theme in my work is faces. I experience pareidolia all the time. The faces featured in my work are all abstract, provoked by my personal associations. In my art, I quote and mix icons and parts from different design languages from mid-century modern to pop and street art.

How did you first get interested in your medium, and what draws you to it specifically?

My mediums are a combination between matter and graphic languages. Working with layers enables me to expand beyond two dimensions and to express depth and details, but at the same time to keep a language which is very graphic and not sculptural. The laser cut allows great accuracy and although everything is computer planned in two-dimensional lines, playing with layers and colors gives surprising results.

How has your style and practice changed over the years?

I believe my style is constantly changing and evolving mainly by quoting and using different design languages, precision, and going into small details in larger scale pieces. In the beginning, I worked on a very small scale, but in the past year, I’ve started experimenting on a larger scale.

Can you walk us through your process? Do you begin with a sketch, or do you just jump in? How long do you spend on one work? How do you know when it is finished?

Most of the time I start with a sketch on my iPad, then move to a more detailed sketch on my computer, a laser cut cardboard sketch, and only then do I progress to the final laser cut of wood. Sometimes it takes me an hour from the time I start the sketch until the final piece is ready, and in other instances, it can take days or even weeks. I don’t really know when a piece is finished. Many of my works are sold, and then I create new versions of them. Sometimes the work is a product of my communications with the customers—what I see in them and their challenges provide a huge source of inspiration. Thanks to them, I experiment and can reach new creative places.

If you couldn’t be an artist, what would you do?

The answer to this question is an easy one for me—I can answer it in the present-tense because I am on the cusp between an artist and a designer. Although I create art like an artist from the assembly to finishing touches, I think like a product designer, which is my original profession

Do you prefer to work with music or in silence?

I like both. I choose the music according to the mood I’m in. I like listening to music from movies I love because it helps me connect to visual associations (for example, the music of Nino Rota from Fellini’s movies). The choice of music has a big impact on my creative process.

About the Author

Katherine Henning is Senior Associate Curator at Saatchi Art. Need help finding art? Contact her via our free Art Advisory service here.