Klapper Gallery presents "Michelangelo's Slaves" by Dr. Robert Klapper


The press release states “Dr. Robert Klapper's debut exhibit at his 2-year old Klapper Gallery will display an intimately revealing culmination of artistry and skill from one of the country's most revered orthopedic surgeons who is also a passionate sculptor and avid surfer. ‘Michelangelo's Slaves’ will showcase sculptures in actual Carrara marble from Carrara, Italy's famous quarry used by Michelangelo himself. Expect to explore classic ‘Michelangelo-esque’ imagery rarely seen in today's contemporary arts.”

The Klapper Gallery is located directly across from Cedars Sinai on Beverly, a fitting location for an ode to to the chief orthopedic surgeon at that hospital. A friendly and sizable crowd had gathered by the time this reviewer strolled in and was given the brief tour. After much mingling and drinking, I was introduced to Robert Klapper himself. He proved to be a very willing, almost insistent, interviewee, describing with a youthful exuberance the carving tools he had created and patented himself, how Michelangelo is his inspiration, and how his work is really about feeling. Faces and hands make up the bulk of his work, but unfinished faces and hands, looming out of chunks of uncarved marble, life coming from the elements. The viewer of the art should be able to finish what he, the sculptor, has started.

So he ambled off, grinning his aw-shucks grin, and spoke with the other folks who were coming in the door non-stop, and this reviewer decided it was time to take a look at the pieces and see what he could add to the experience.

As I gazed upon the work at hand, my initial reaction was beyond simplistic: “Wow, someone actually carved this with their own hands.” Trust me, I didn’t expect to be impressed- I’m a heathen who likes B horror films and paintings of barns like the ones my Uncle Ray has up in his apartment- but Klapper’s pieces exude a beauty and sadness and joy that no one would be able to misinterpret. 


I’ve never really thought of myself as an art aficionado, but I can appreciate art. Maybe that’s all it takes. Perhaps one doesn’t have to actually be able to “get” what one is looking at- to be able to discover the deeper meaning behind the canvas or the sculpture or truly divine what the sculptor was trying to convey- as long as one can appreciate it and feel it. Or at least feel something. In a world where people are belittled as being ‘emo’ for actually displaying feelings at all, let’s take what we can get. Highly recommended.

The Exhibit runs from August 9 –  September 1, 2007. You can check out more about the Klapper Gallery at www.klappergallery.com.

SCOTT OTTO studied journalism at the University of Las Vegas until a fateful メcareer dayモ excursion with a crusty and bitter journalist turned him off from the profession. After giving up on this dream, he moved to Los Angeles and has lived there for the last ten years, writing things no one in their right mind would publish. Drifting along through the music and film industries, heユs finally settled into a comfortable rut, pursuing a burgeoning voice over career and, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, has decided to begin writing again. Heユs never been nominated for any awards, and heユs never saved anyoneユs life. On the plus side, heユs a really nice guy, takes good care of his family, and makes a pretty mean pasta sauce.