A master of his craft, sculptor Jon Koehler transforms steel into graceful forms that defy gravity.
Jon Koehler (b. 1966, San Diego) is a self-taught artist known for his dynamic, balloon-like steel sculptures, achieved by masterfully manipulating welding techniques, deconstructing the elements of steel, and pushing the boundaries of the medium beyond expecation. Koehler transforms the cold, hard material into ethereal structures that are eye-catching, yet harmonious with their surroundings.
Largely inspired by nature, especially the ocean, Koehler’s fascination with fluidity, light, and movement is evident in his sculptures; the polished metal surfaces reflect the surroundings and change based on the viewer’s perspective, giving the appearance of motion to a static form. His series Burgeon is comprised of weightless-looking shapes that resemble pool floats, à la Jeff Koons; meanwhile, his series Inflated Silhouettes features pairs of figures that recall the simple elegance of Alberto Giacometti’s iconic sculptures.
The California native encountered welding at a young age, thanks to the family business of boat-building. Koehler’s early exposure to the craft, coupled with his innate talent, forged a wildly skilled and detailed metalworker. Koehler strives to find the perfect balance between stillness and fluidity, and he works meticulously to create sculptures that embody the forms and forces of nature.
Koehler’s work has been exhibited around the United States in galleries and public commissions, and in 2023 the artist signed with Avant Gallery for exclusive representation.
Polished Stainless Steel, Translucent Paint, and Marble Base
Koehler's Burgeon series pushes the boundaries of steel in the form of sculptures that appear to be inflated. The balloon-like sculptures play with perspective, creating a funhouse mirror effect that changes based on the viewer's perspective.