Jon Koehler / Selected Artwork / Biography / Artist Statement / Past Exhibitions
Jon Koehler - Biography
Merriam Webster definition of kinetic – of, or relating to, or resulting from motion. Kinetic art -- art (as sculpture) having mechanical parts which can be set in motion. Motion – fluid movement – with a hard-forged tranquil core.
That’s what kinetic artist Jon Koehler’s life and art are all about. Inspired by the forms and forces of nature and the nautical and aquatic world surrounding him, San Diego metal artist Jon Koehler creates motion from materials others see only as immobile (or static). Noted particularly for his kinetic sculptures crafted from hard-to-form stainless steel, Jon is a largely self-taught craftsman renowned for his precision work and meticulous attention to detail. Jon developed a special feel and understanding for stainless steel, which is intrinsically harder to work with than softer and more malleable metals like copper and aluminum. Stainless steel requires a special expertise and finesse -- as well as patience and persistence – to manipulate without fracturing or damaging the metal.
Born into a San Diego boat-building family and raised in and around his family’s Shelter Island boatyard, Jon displayed an early talent and pleasure in working with his hands along with a distinct artistic bent. His father, a hands-on master boat builder and founder of Koehler Kraft who passed on his knowledge of the traditional marine crafts and his focus on quality, encouraged Jon’s interest in metalwork and welding, which he started learning from one of Koehler Kraft’s skilled welders. Later he refined his precision metalworking skills transforming high-performance race cars into clients’ “dream cars.”
His passion for metal flourished. In working on his sculptures, Jon senses the proper balance and grace between metal and open space, between calm and fluidity. He works with clients to understand their underlying wishes. “I have the ability to make their dreams come true,” he explains.
Jon’s sculptures, ranging from 3 inches to 30 feet, are available for purchase or custom commission. You can see the fusion of Jon’s eclectic talents and experience displayed along many parts of San Diego’s waterfront and beyond, both in his stainless steel kinetic public art installations and in his artful custom functional stainless steel work adorning million-dollar yachts.