For 41 consecutive nights this summer, David Zalben will be caged in a storefront gallery bending feet after feet of wire in his homage to lady muses, "A Love You Can't Live Without."
You may have seen this ArtCenter/South Florida artist-in-residence's work up trees and lampposts on Lincoln Road, his simple metal forms recalling the minimalist silhouettes of Pablo Picasso's early pen and inks.
Zalben has agreed to sit in the ArtCenter's front gallery as part of an art installation/performance. There he will compose his latest work: wire-written poetry inspired by the women in his life that will dangle from the ceiling like metallic, literary vines.
At 8:30 every night until July 12th, watch the romantic bend 16-gauge wire into odes to lady dental hygienists and fellow artists.
Zalben spoke with HuffPost Miami about "A Love You Can't Live Without."
What inspired this project?
This installation idea was born when I wanted to express my affection for a woman that inspires me, and I instantly realized this could be a fascinating, albeit extreme platform, so as I started to visualize the installation. It started to meander and take on a life of its own.
Who are some of your female muses?
I am an open person. I truly feel a muse can be right in front of you, you just need to be engaging with others…as an example, I was recently getting my teeth cleaned with a new dental hygienist, and since I was gaging, she said "You know Dave, it's your tongue causing you to gag. It's tense, just relax the tongue". It dawned on my to write a quote in wire: 'Control the tongue and you control your fate'.
What has the reaction been from passersby on Lincoln Road?
Pretty amazing. People are very enthusiastic. It has been quite humbling actually. I spoke with a woman that saw an article about the installation, and was so inspired she overcame many personal obstacles to drive over an hour to see me work…she called me a "heart surgeon", that makes it all worth while.
Biggest challenge working with wire?
I think mainly to edit my ideas. I mean it comes naturally for me to bend the wire, so I am careful not to bend it into cliché words or common figurative pieces.
How did you start working the material?
I had the fortune to know the artist Adriana Carvalho, who introduced me to contemporary art, and since she works in metal there were always different materials, as wire lying about.
One day I saw she made a tiny flower out of telephone wire, and I started to play with some wire to see what I could come up with...The flip side to that, I noticed I gravitate to the medium of wire because I like minimalism, and since I am impatient, the wire fits my character perfectly because I don't need anything but my hands and a pair snips to produce artwork.
Click below for images of Zalben's first night in the window as well as images of his previous work with wire: