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The mind of an artist

A senior sculpture major spends his nights creating art in an SU studio, and he describes his experiences.

Some people are early birds, and some are night owls.

Jeffrey Klinger, a senior sculpture and management major at Syracuse University, likes to spend his nights creating art.

Klinger’s favorite sculpture is a metal octopus. He created the piece in his junior year at SU using pieces of steel, which were forged and welded.

“It looks like an octopus sitting on a box of mirrors,” Klinger said. “It’s my favorite because it showed me that a medium like steel could be completely manipulated. There were endless possibilities. It becomes completely different through your interaction with it.”

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This year, Klinger sold one of his most popular pieces — a sculpture of a spine — to a local artist who will display it at home, although the piece currently resides at SU’s Comstock Art Facility.

“This piece, when I was finished with it, I really, really hated it,” Klinger said. “I felt I was hitting a dead end. Its only purpose now is to be a static object on display.”

Klinger spends his days as a student or a teaching assistant in various sculpture classes at SU’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. His peers flock around whenever he takes out his latest work. On a recent day, his piece is functional but dangerous: a fan motor with strings of razor blades attached.

Klinger can usually be found late at night in his Com Art studio. Inspiration takes time.

“My process is just existence. One of the most important aspects of this is not to have the technical skill, but the drive to do it,” Klinger said. “There are just no boundaries. You will never graduate from it. You will always be learning something.”

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