April Artist – Day 29 – Zak Timan

I make floating sculpture. Using buoyant materials such as cork, hollow metal forms, and birds’ eggshells, I create compositions that float in clear, oil-filled glass vessels. The compositions’ elements are tethered to the vessel bottom with line or chain, suspending them in liquid space.

My sculptures have a relationship with jazz music, although less explicitly than the other artists featured. For the past three years I’ve named my sculptures after complimentary jazz compositions, using titles such as “Topsy” or “Flying Home”. I have also modified or built new names from the jazz vernacular, such as “Busby’s Bouquet” or “Jumpin’ at the Belvedere”.

Oil, glass, eggshells, air, monofilament
18×3.5×41 in. (frame)

My main exploration in art is through form and visual dynamics- light, shape, color, kinetic and potential energy. In contrast to many other genres of art which are about something (telling a story, political references, etc.), my major concern is to invoke as great a sense of wonder as possible.

Cloud Castle

Oil, glass, air, bird’s eggshells, monofilament, silver, magnet
11x3x11 in.

My work is not ‘about’ dancing or jazz or music. And therefore, the reason why I use these titles is a little bit subtle. However it is not random.

I had never truly heard jazz music before I started dancing.  Sure, I suppose I’d heard Louie Armstrong in the background of a film here, or Billie Holiday through the speakers at the bar there.  But upon discovering it via lindy hop, and then really listening with fresh, focused ears, I immediately realized what I had been missing and fell deeply in love.

photo 1


Oil, glass, air.
10×3.5×35 in

I noticed a relationship between the music I was hearing, the dance I was doing, and my artwork.  The dynamism, rhythm, and pure joy of swing was exactly what I was after with my sculpture. Thus after struggling with names for my pieces, as many artists do, I came upon a perfect fit.

There is an added perk to this system- Jazz songs have killer titles!  “Splanky”? “Buck Jumpin'”?  “A Smo-oo-oth One”?  Yes please.

Titles can be a major hangup for artists. The title is often the only hint of how we should interpret an artwork and thus can determine a lot about how the work is received. I think there can be a tendency to try to add depth or meaning via a profound or esoteric title, when in the end it can have the opposite effect- Often the work stands on it’s own and needs no such thing. I’ve felt this tendency myself, as my imagery is mostly non-objective and open to interpretation. I’m happy to have found a system which not only feels honest towards my goals, but is also damn fun.

Oil, glass, cork, silver chain
Name: Zak Timan
City: Berkeley, CA
How long have you been doing art: 12 years or so.  In 2009 I graduated with a BFA from the California College of the Arts.

Are you a lindy hopper, and if so, how long have you been dancing? Yes, 3-4 years.

What inspired you to make art: Fear of growing up.

Flying Home (Featherweight)


Oil, feathers, glass, silver chain, air. 
14x3x11 in. 

Where you hope to go with your art: World Domination. Is there any other direction?

If you like, check out the artist statement on my website to read more about the philosophy behind my work.

Are you available to make these for people? Yes indeed.  Actually, the first commission I’ve had from a friend came from a fellow lindy hopper.

Contact info:


Don’t forget to stop and enjoy the Art!


Jo (& Kevin)

What do you love about this? What strikes you the most? Let us know in the comments below, on our Facebook  page, or find us on Twitter us @Kevin_and_Jo and we’ll retweet your fabulous art! Don’t forget to tag it #aprilartists !!

P.S. At the end of the month, some lucky commenter will win a free digital download of their choice from our store! Just leave a comment below (that’s key!!), use an email address that you check (so we can email you about your possible winning), and we’ll randomly select a special someone on May 5!



April 29, 2014 | Filed Under: Artists | Tagged: air, chains, eggshells, feathers, glass, jazz music, Louis Armstrong, magnet, oil, silver, Zak Timan

One Response to “April Artist – Day 29 – Zak Timan”

  1. Emma says:

    WOW! I love the “Flying Home” piece at the end. I love all of them but that last one is stunning. I’m so curious about how much movement happens inside the pieces if you picked one up.

Leave a Reply

design and development by fivelinesmedia.com