“Heart Beats” is a new sculpture by artist Martin Schoffel that was recently unveiled in Doral Florida. The piece was created for a special needs school that was built in the area. Martin was asked to create an art piece to stand outside of the school and his creation is an abstract depiction of children holding hands around a heart; when it is viewed in motion it appears to vibrate, an optical illusion effect. Martin is very pleased with an excited about the piece which was created with aluminum alloy and custom-painted with both liquid paint and furnace treatment. Everything was created using water jet cutting technology which Martin readily embraces for his work.
Martin Gunter Schoffel is a Venezuelan-Austrian artist who specializes in kinetic, Geometric and OP Art. After a childhood spent creating freehand geometric drawings, he turned to geometric and kinetic art. In 2015 Martin Schoffel was awarded the Omar Carreño plastics arts award. In 2017, he won the Armando Reverón plastics award.
Martin is inspired by colors, music, nature, people, architecture and life in general. He recently discussed his work via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you initially learn the craft of geometric design and how did that turn into kinetic art?
Martin Schoffel (MS): Since my whole life I have been immersed in music, mainly with the guitar and later with turntables and electronic dance music, the similarities for me between music and OP art are in some way incredibly close. Rhythm, beats, sequences, patterns, modules, they all live beautifully in both Geometric Art and Music.
MM: How did you break into the art industry and get your work exhibited?
MS: I was surrounded by art since I was very young. As mere hobby I was creating my own artworks, on a special occasion Someone spotted my artwork and really liked what I was doing, he asked me latter if I wouldn’t mind if he placed it on a table of a booth (this was at an Art fair in South America) at the end of the show I got a phone call, someone was interested in buying my Artwork. I was very happy that day. It was my first artwork I had sold. I figured if I can sell one, I can sell a second and so forth. I had been creating my Artworks just of mere pleasure it gave me, now having the possibility to sell them, the decision was easy: I will become an Artist.
MM: You recently unveiled a new sculpture at a school, so how did this opportunity come about?
MS: A special Needs School was being built, I was contacted and asked if I can come up with a design of a sculpture.
MM: What gave you the idea to feature a heart in the design?
MS: The sculpture was commissioned for a special needs school. The idea that love makes everything possible, the shape of a heart had to be the central focus. The kids in front and back of heart shaped elements represents obviously the kids, the parents and also the teachers and care takers that all play an essential role in the teaching these amazing kids.
MM: How long did it take to complete this project?
MS: From the first sketches to the final sculpture reveal it was approximately six months; creating a big sculpture like this one has several steps. After the technical drawings are done, material selection is accounted for, a couple of mockups are needed, after that the color combination is completed and then once everything is aligned, the big sculpture begins to take place.
MM: What have been people’s reactions to this sculpture?
MS: I’m very proud of all my team that worked so hard to achieve this amazing sculpture. Everyone seems to love it. It is best appreciated in person, since the perspective and the person’s movement relative to the sculpture makes the heart elements seem to “vibrate” or “beat.” That’s why the sculpture was named “Heart Beats.” I clearly remember when we finished installing the last bolts to the concrete base, it was already late at night, the sculpture was finally completed. We started to take the first pictures and begin to organize the power tools and pack up and leave … and then down the street I saw a guy on his bike pedaling towards where we were. He seemed to stare at the sculpture and then gave everyone a thumbs up and that felt great!
MM: What have been the highlights of your career as an artist so far?
MS: Probably this “Heart Beats” sculpture, not only because of its size and complexity, but because it’s in a very special place.
MM: What other projects are coming up for you in the future and are there anything else that you would like to discuss?
MS: I am currently working on an NFT project. It will soon be ready and I will keep you posted.