David Petrakovitz

Born 1947

David studied at the Art School of the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts, now known as the College for Creative Studies. David worked as a studio potter for more than two decades before turning to sculpture full time in 1995. Aside from the work at Michigan Legacy Art Park David also has public exhibits in Elk Rapids, Chelsea, and Royal Oak, Michigan.

Artist Statement

Having grown up in Detroit I developed an interest in early industrial machines, seeing the beauty and grace of their forms and functions. There is an almost primitive quality to their shapes. Most of my early sculptural forms have an aspect of functionality to them, ceramic vessels, wood and metal furniture; so it is not surprising that my current sculptures often suggest some primitive function as well.

My recent work reflects my interest in these industrial forms in the creation of steel totems, masks, wheeled vehicles and other welded sculptural constructions that often suggest a mechanical purpose. I enjoy spending time exploring in old barns, scrap and junkyards looking for weathered and rusted old metal parts that retain a hint of their original use. Sometimes I employ that original function, other times I simply allude to it (wheels that do not move or gears that do not turn) or I just ignore the original use and let the part stand on it own strength and unique form. These recycled artifacts, along with the forms I fabricate combine to create sculptures that often appear to have some mysterious function.

Until recently, color was seldom part of my artistic vocabulary when conceiving sculptures. Instead I focused on form and composition. Sculptures were just left to rust to a fine patina; like the old weathered parts I sought. Now, frequently I use color to bring life and animation to my sculptures and to add tension and definition to the forms.

Works in the Park