Kaya is a figurative sculptor who integrates wire mesh with driftwood and other media. Wire-mesh is a window screen like industrial material, I work it with my hands and fingers and use simple tools with rounded knobs. No molds. I started with clay and then further developed my skills with wire mesh and driftwood. I love working with mesh because of its transparency and the almost 3-dimensional shadows it creates.
Tell us about yourself.
I was born in Bulgaria but I lived in Israel most of my life, with some time in Africa. I’m married to a Canadian and we have travelled and worked in different parts of the world. We have 4 children and have lived in Hastings on Hudson, NY for the past 27 years. I started sculpting only 6 years ago and uncovered some inner artistic talents that had not previously “surfaced”. I’ve never looked back.
Besides making art, what do you do, do you have a day job?
Now art is my primary vocation and occupation.-I can’t keep away! In addition, I appreciate viewing and understanding works of other artists, new and old.
Where does your inspiration come from? Is there anything you are looking at that particularly speaks to you?
Much of my inspiration comes from my experience in Africa. You will see that a number of my sculptures are women that have wings, spreading the wings means trying to achieve more . We are all held back by something, whether it’s family, work or other obligations. I’m inspired by the expression on people’s faces. To create face expressions with wire mesh is hard and rewarding, suddenly the face talks to you.
Humor and spirited visions are very important to me. I’m not the artist who is repairing and correcting the world, I want something that has humor and people can enjoy.
Has any advice influenced you?
I once heard an interview with the painter Agnes Martin who said that when you want inspiration to come to you, your head must be free of everything else so there is room for that inspiration. I find it so true, if your mind is all cluttered imagination cannot flourish. Certainly, inputs and comments from others and also understanding what goes into their work is a key contributor to my thinking and expressions.
How would you describe your creative process?
I come down to the studio, take a big piece of mesh and I just start working. I very rarely have specific image in mind when I’m starting, and slowly my imagination will join the flexibility of the wire-mesh and the sculpture will start falling into shape. I am not an expert in drawing, so I don’t start with a drawn plan…. I need to do it my way.
How do you get out of your creative blocks?
If you have to do income tax or pay bills it’s very hard to return to the studio and create again. . So when I return to the studio, listen to classical music, “play” with the wire-mesh and get back to my creative mood.
What is the most positive and inspirational thing about being an artist for you?
When I finish a sculpture, assemble it and I say ”WOW.”! Because it doesn’t always happen, sometimes I sculpt and put it aside until the right “combination” occurs and the sculpting comes together.
What are your biggest challenges to creating art and how do you handle them?
The challenge is not in creating but in being accepted by me and others; people, galleries, exhibitions. Once you are an artist you’re already creating, its the marketing that’s hard.
If you could visit the studio of any artist or designer, who would it be?
There are two. I would visit Giacometti and Modigliani. They speak to my heart.
Do you have any advice for artists who are just starting out?
Dedicate yourself to your art. There is always something else to do, try to be in your studio daily.
Is there something you are currently working on, or are excited about starting that you can tell us about?
In November 2012 there will be an exhibition and symposium in Shaarei Tefila synogoge in Mount Kisco celebrating the saving of the Bulgarian Jews during the second world war. Since I was born in Bulgaria I was invited to speak and exhibit my sculptures during this event. I am working on a piece that will show the spirit of the Bulgarian people and Bulgaria, my birthplace.
What are your main goals for 2012 and the next 10 years?
I would like to participate in many exhibitions as possible and continue to work at my sculptures and make their impact wide spread.
Do you have a website?
The link to Kaya’s show at Shaarei Tefila synogoge in Mount Kisco will be added when it becomes available.
Thanks so much Kaya!!