Michael Kalish combined pop culture and idealistic american fascination elevating the “lowly license plate” from the junkyard to the museum. His depictions of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley and other icons represent a homage to American culture and society. The Beatles, and Mickey Mouse, all with a wink to pop masters such as Warhol and Lichtenstein. His roses, both framed and freestanding, are made from automobile parts; their surprising voluptuousness led to solo exhibitions in Museums and Galleries in Stockholm, Geneva and New York. His giant abstracts, comprised of recycled classic car parts from the 50’s and 60’s, triumphantly declare their resurrections. His three-dimensional editions, constructed of high-gloss metal layers, playfully interact with viewers, affording unique experiences depending upon their vantage points.
Monumental outdoor installations by Kalish include: the historic Muhammad Ali tribute- “reALIze”- wherein 1300 punching bags suspended 22-feet high conspire to form a three- dimensional rendering of the heavyweight champion’s famous face, a series of two dozen towering pinwheels engineered on behalf of COPD awareness- exhibited at the Tampa Museum of Art, as well as The Perrier-Jouet Monument and “Raise The Caliber, a monumental public work made of reclaimed guns designed as a statement against violence, which is currently traveling the US.
His unique position as a preeminent arbiter of style and taste has led to features in People Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Details, Wired.