Weston artist Jesse Nusbaum wins best sculpture award: “It’s an amazing feeling.”


WESTON — After a two-year hiatus from Miami Art Week, local artist Jesse Nusbaum returned to Art Basel Miami’s Red Dot last month to unveil two of his latest sculptures — and walked away with the prize for the best sculpture.

Nusbaum’s last two sculptures, “The Black Panther” and “Spanish Fighting Bull”, helped Zenith Art and Fashion, the art gallery he represented, surpass more than 70 other galleries to win the award for best 2021 sculpture by Red Dot.

Nusbaum, 32 from Weston, said attending the event was “inspirational”.


“It’s an incredible feeling. I was proud to represent my gallery and play a part in our recognition at Red Dot this year,” said Nusbaum. “It was just as exciting to unveil my new artwork as it was to see the other artists exhibiting not just in my gallery, but throughout the room.”

“Red Dot is my favorite place to exhibit during Miami Art Week. The energy emanating from the artwork on this stage is palpable,” Nusbaum said. same ideas and it brings a sense of inspiration when you’re able to pick out the spirit of these other artists.”

During Miami Art Week, nearly 253 international galleries from over 36 countries presented artworks ranging from paintings and sculptures to photography and digital works.

Nusbaum said more than 60,000 visitors descended on the Miami Beach Convention Center over the three days.

He said he got the idea for the Black Panther sculpture from enjoying the animal’s “majestic” nature. He said the contrast between jet black and the way their yellow eyes light up was something he wanted to capture.

“I always believed that the creative energy used throughout the artistic process was forever harnessed in this piece,” Nusbaum said. “The finished product cements an immortalized connection between the artist and the artwork.”

Nusbaum said the “Spanish Fighting Bull” was a “statement” piece. He said he knew the life-size bull’s head would ironically turn heads and if he could get people to come to his gallery with it, then more eyes would be on the black panther.

Carla Cid De Diego, owner of Zenith Art and Fashion who has worked with Nusbaum since 2017, said her work is very intricate with “thousands” of detail.

“He creates contemporary sculptures of classic form and function. Even though he is so young, Jesse follows the old school to carve his animals. You don’t find that style of work anymore,” Diego said. “Jesse brings a breath of fresh air to the art world. He is a visionary and is always up for any challenge with a drive and desire to grow as an artist and professional.

Nusbaum’s passion for art came very early. He said he remembered drawing, painting and making sculptures when he was 4 years old. Even at an early age, he realized that art came to him more easily than others. After winning Best Sculptor at Weston High School as a junior and senior, he attended Muhlenberg College, originally planning to go to law school and join his law firm. father in Westport.

Although he studied law for several months, he decided to pursue his passion for sculpture.

Nusbaum opened a studio in Weston in 2013, where in addition to creating sculptures, he gives private lessons to adults and mentors artists as they navigate the art world.

“I’m very drawn to three-dimensional sculptures,” Nusbaum said. “With the three-dimensional sculptures I’m able to bring out the realism all over the surface of the piece, whereas in painting you’re limited to the flat two-dimensional piece. I can touch angles and create details from all angles.

Nusbuam said he is also very fond of using his hands when creating artwork. He said it’s a more intimate relationship with the artwork and the artist.

“I’ve always felt more connected with the artwork I create when I use my hand rather than say a brush,” he said.

Nusbaum, as part of the art gallery Zenith Art and Fashion, won two awards in 2018 at Red Dot Art Basel, including the Spotlight Award, given to the top five galleries in the Red Dot, as well as Best New Exhibitor.

In 2019, Nusbaum was published in “100 Artists of the Future” by Contemporary Art Curator Magazine, as well as in World Wide Art Books “Important Artists of the Future” and in “International Contemporary Masters”.

The following year, he won Contemporary Art Curator magazine’s Artist of the Future award, which recognizes the most talented artists who will most likely shape the future of the art world and showcases the distinct voices of a new generation of artists.

Nusbaum said being part of Zenith Art and Fashion’s effort to win Best Sculpture last month is further validation of her talent and choice to enter the art world.

“It’s just about validating the idea of ​​staying the course, continuing to create, and continuing to imagine,” Nusbaum said. “I know my hard work is being recognized and it’s just motivating to keep going.”

“I want to keep creating and keep inspiring and keep evoking emotion in my audience,” he added.

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