A Gallery of Work by Sculptor Mico Kaufman


Mico Kaufman, born in 1924 in Buzua, Rumania, was preparing for a career as a violinist when World War II interrupted his studies. Because of the persecution of Jews in Rumania in his youth, he was not allowed to finish high school. In 1947, at the end of the war he legally left Rumania for Italy where he studied sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts, Rome. In 1951 he entered the United States as a refugee, settling in Boston, Massachusetts. There he worked for several professional sculpture studios before opening his own studio in Tewksbury, Massachusetts.

He has distinguished himself in medallic portraiture notably for his official presidential medals. He is the only sculptor in American numismatics to have been commissioned for four official presidential medals. In 1992 he was the recipient of the prestigious Saltus Award for Signal Achievement from the American Numismatic Society. In addition to his many medals, Mico Kaufman has created numerous portraits in bronze of national and international figures, now in museums and private collections. In recent years he has experimented extensively with abstract sculpture using polyethylene.

Click here for Mico Kaufman's complete resume.

Artist's Statement

I see my art as the product of a consistent obsession: a drive to lead with the logical and to surprise with the inconsistent. Even as I trundle along a pre-planned and fairly pre-determined path, I experience a need to startle myself and to excite at the sight of the unexpected: the clumsy push of a tool, a careless turn of a spatula, or the gone-out-of control twist of a knife could change, expand or shrink my work.

I am not superstitious, though I have yet to figure out a more apt definition of the need to follow-up on the intuition that, by allowing for a deviation from the certain, I might be rewarded with a fresher, freer course in my work.

As in life's normality, you will sometimes find that in art the impromptu is an effective counter to the prosaic and that the fantastic stand could yield an inspired reward.

Still, all art, whether beautiful or not, great or dilettante, in awe or in jest, is only a pale mocking of the purposeful nature of all that there is.

The beguiling allure from the prosaic into the mysterious is not unlike the passive, visual following of a casual strand of hair, as it sinuously snakes down the nape of feminine pulchritude, to blend into a tenebrous mass (heavy, ain't it?). In itself, more simply put, it is quite bland. But the instincts it sets aquaking! An electric relay to the senses, it is, in its hegemonic dominance of my being.

It might also be that it is because of the frequency and the intensity with which these relays of life affect me, that I have become a sculptor.