David Paul Bacharach


The Natural World: Silhouettes and Sculptures, 1990-2015

Dusk, the sky above my home glows a deep, rich, cobalt blue. At this moment pasture and woodland dissolve merging forms of subdued color accented by the aerial calligraphy of bats and nighthawks. Lengthening twilight shadows concealed delicate insects, resting mammals, roosting songbirds and diverse plant life. Each distinct shape revealing itself only when I could devote the time to tease loose the graying outlines from the night. With pencil and pen, on crumbled receipts and notepaper I carry in my pockets, I slowly began to record the elusive silhouettes, with their bright slivers of illuminated detail. Tacking my sketches to any available vertical surface in the studio I pondered the drawings for years before an idea quietly emerged. Employing my sketches, initially I considered using only the powerful silhouettes. It soon became clear though that the architecture of each mammal and bird, the conformation of each insect and plant should not be over looked. As the project progressed it took on a life of it’s own. Three-dimensional copper and bronze sculptures were first, followed by oxidized or black, mild steel silhouettes. Finally came, steel silhouettes that I manipulated into bas-reliefs on which I blended the soft, oxide surface with paint to enhance the final form. Additionally, I determined to employ only materials, such as recycled scrap copper, steel from fabricators discard piles, and water based finishes that would do no harm to the environment I was recording.

close up view


indoor sculpture