Photo by Jeff Smith
HOME BASE: Florence, S.C., with studios in Colorado, Israel and the UK
FAMILY TIES: Wife, Aggie; son, Edy; daughter, Natalie
CAREER PATH: Engineer, CEO, sculptor
CREATIVE ASIDES: Furniture design
“Sculptor” seems too subtle a word to describe Alex Palkovich, a Florence artist whose creative intensity could be measured on the Richter scale. His passion is riveting and infectious. When asked about his sculpting process, he spins like a dervish from sculpture to sculpture, firing off details of taking his conceptions from clay to cast to bronze.
And then there are the works. Whether you are standing beneath a looming likeness of General Francis Marion or contemplating a diminutive Pavarotti, his sculptures call up an immediate sense of the tangible and the abstract, the personal and the universal, stillness and action.
“Movement is the language of my sculpture,” says Palkovich, who was born to Holocaust survivors in a Soviet-ruled region of the Ukraine. “Walk around my sculptures and they will speak to you differently from each new angle.”
His studio is likewise teeming with movement, thanks to several sculptures, big and small, in various stages of development. Since retiring from a career as an engineer and global executive, Palkovich says he is now playing “catch-up.”
“I have been sculpting since I was 6 years old, and that is always, always what I wanted for my life,” he says. “But being a CEO paid for living, something sculpting could not do. So, I had that career and was a sculptor only in free time. I was a man living two lives—life in a factory and life in art.”
The payoff for promoting his inner artist to full-time status has been more than sweet. Palkovich enjoys widespread acclaim, with his works prized by art connoisseurs and collectors across the globe. And there are no regrets about his career path.
“I would not do one thing differently,” Palkovich says. “Not one thing.”
For a gallery depicting Alex Palkovich’s public works in South Carolina, including “Home Safe” (pictured above) in Florence Veterans Park, visit alexpalkovich.com.