Oscar Season Gleams at Local Foundry
By Eugenia Moskowitz
Polich Tallix, the famous bronze foundry located in Rock Tavern, has been busier than ever since it was bought by UAP, the Australian firm that acquired the business earlier this year. But Jamie Perrow, head designer at UAP, says that the volume of business is due to the decades of fine work done by the approximately 80 skilled workers and artisans at the company who make it possible to execute the vision of artists from around the world.
Jeff Koons recently completed a three foot rabbit made of silver which was forged at Polich Tallix; it sold at auction for $91 million earlier this year, a record sale for the work of a living artist. All of the 60 annual Oscar statuettes are also made there, cast in bronze and plated with 24-karat gold; the company started producing the Oscars in 2016. The foundry, known for its expertise, also was asked to take the lead role in repairing the gashes in the “Charging Bull” statue on Wall Street after the famous and beautiful artwork was badly damaged by demonstrators. Other notable works of art currently being worked on include a 22-foot tall bronze sculpture by Hank Willis Thomas called “Unity” that will soon sit at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge near Tillary and Adams streets.
Some artists choose to be hands-on in the foundry, while others allow the company’s artisans to execute their ideas. Artist Dick Polich started the foundry decades ago, moving it to its current location in 1996. The factory is currently about 105,000 square feet.
CAPTION 1: The cast undercarriage of a truck being worked on. (above)
CAPTION 2: The hoods of a Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, Crown Victoria, and Chrysler Crown Imperial cast in copper, bronze, and brass. (Photos provided)
CAPTION 3: A straitjacket forged in metal.