Walter Focht (Tres)
Growing up in Southern California and being the oldest, I was the one my mother hauled around to all of her favorite antique stores, as I could be trusted not to touch. This instilled in me an early and lasting interest in architecture, design and especially furniture. Later, in the eighties and early nineties, I studied art and design at San Diego Mesa College and Calfornia State University at Long Beach, earning a degree in interior design, with the goal of becoming a furniture designer. However, I soon discovered that I enjoyed designing and building furniture myself, rather than designing things for others to build. Also, I developed a love of using found natural and man made materials, such as recycled and repurposed hardware, to create a unique “one of a kind” nature to my work. I love to contrast organic forms with machined industrial objects and to replicate nature using industrial materials. I also enjoy creating decorative patterns out of the mechanical fasteners used to construct these objects. My process has evolved into a game of self imposed problem solving, using these restrictive materials, to create a unified three dimensional composition, contrasting my inherent minimalist and functional design aesthetic against a free and organic artistic exploration of form. In other words, I am enjoying breaking my own rules, but in a very, very controlled way, creating unique and yet functional furniture-like objects.
Since beginning this work, I have been involved in and supported by several local arts organizations, including Catalyst for Community, Green Long Beach, L.B. Creative, the Depot for Creative Reuse, the Arts Council for Long Beach, the Long Beach Art Exchange, Phantom Galleries, the 2nd City Council Art Gallery and the Long Beach Library Foundation. Most recently I have shown my work at Anneise, the Art Ex Galleries, the Zask Gallery, the Long Beach Museum of Art, the Greenley Art Space, Lauren Kilgore’s Studio 339 Gallery, the Stone Rose Gallery, Bauhausu, the San Pedro Loft Gallery and the Hellada Gallery.