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Prevailing Affinities

Kathy Taslitz
Artwork Type
Media & Support
fiberglass on steel
Public Library
Manhattan Beach Library
1320 Highland Avenue
Manhattan Beach, CA
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Latitude: -118.410357 - Longitude: 33.887079
Image: Prevailing Affinities

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Signaling a strong sense of family and appreciation for the natural environment, Taslitz presents a bloom of 18 jellyfish as a portrait of the Manhattan Beach community. Jellyfish swim in blooms, groups of dozens or hundreds of jellyfish to help safeguard themselves from ocean predators, and is one of the reasons why the species has been able to thrive for over 700 million years around the world. During her interviews, Taslitz learned that Manhattan Beach residents value family, friends and a strong sense of community. The bulbous forms—commingling with their tentacles extended, connecting with their neighbors—are meant to embody the act of individuals and families joining to form a community. In contrast to the white polished fiberglass dome and silicone tentacles, the underside of each dome is a different color featured in the official city seal for Manhattan Beach.

Taslitz and a team of over 20 artisans, metalworkers and engineers were involved in the making of the artwork. From start to finish, the team transformed two small scale models of the artworks into larger than life sculptures weighing more than 2,000 pounds.

About the Artist

Kathy Taslitz was raised around the monumental sculptures of Chicago and draws her inspiration directly from humanity, nature and technology. The work she creates ranges in scope from monumental pieces of bronze, stainless steel, aluminum, fiberglass and silicone as well as mixed media with projected imagery and sound. By sensitively examining the diametrically opposed yet essentially related configurations of natural elements and 21st century culture, she creates seductive juxtapositions of form and idea.
Her polished forms invoke a quiet sense of power. A power that isn’t self-referential, rather it draws upon both the primordial and mechanical to remind the viewer of the universal cycle of existence. Using cogent amalgams of compliments and opposites, her works create subtle relationships between nature and humanity, the technological and the organic, and the gentle way fragility has the capacity to overpower strength.
Taslitz’ sculptures infer a connection between natural objects and the invisible forces that shape the course of human life. This work conveys familiar human emotions – vulnerability, strength, connection and isolation with anthropomorphic forms from the natural world. She draws her inspiration directly from nature. Birth, death, renewal- the basic outline to the story of all human life; the beginning, the end and the struggle in between are ongoing narratives. These are themes that lay just beneath the surface of her work.
The artist currently resides in Los Angeles, California.