Steven Anisman's fascination with sculpture began as a young man when visiting the Boston Museum of Science. There he discovered the work of George Rhoads, a kinetic sculptor most well-known in New England for his large-scale sculptures with rolling balls. Steven's earliest artistic passions were expressed musically, as he became – and remains – an accomplished drummer, heavily influenced by the work of Pat Metheny. He attended the University of North Texas (formerly North Texas State University) where he was an active member in the jazz and percussion programs. His career path took him first to psychology and then to medicine, and he currently practices cardiology in Bennington, Vermont. While his other pursuits took him far afield, the excitement and interest sparked by the Rhoads sculptures remained.
Steven's early interest in metal sculpture was re-ignited during his medical residency when he inherited an oxy-acetylene torch and tanks from his uncle, George Feldman. George was an accomplished sculptor, and many of Steven's designs have been inspired - either directly or indirectly - by George's work. In particular, Steven's use of masonry nails as an expressive medium is directly based on George's sculptures. After much experimentation, Steven learned to braze and then to weld (both MIG and TIG). When he moved to Bennington in 2008, he was able to set up a reasonable workshop, and soon gained the skills necessary to focus on the sculpture rather than on the welding.
His work has focused on a few narrow but fertile areas of exploration. As an admirer of the work of the painters Josef Albers and Bridget Riley, he has taken to re-interpreting their ideas in 3 dimensions – paying particular attention to Riley’s concept of putting a shape "through its paces, to see what it can do." Major themes include implied motion and change, the visual use of rhythm, the creation of curves using straight lines, and the use of direction and form in the line. Shapes are often defined by our perception of their edges; Steven’s work supplies continual visual interest by providing multiple internal edges, which shift and redefine the viewer's understanding of form and space.
Steven has been encouraged and taught by many people, most importantly Jim Cole, a fellow Vermont-based metal sculptor. Inspiration is always easy to find, in the form of his amazingly supportive wife Julie, and two great kids, Sophia & Leo. He is a member of the National Sculpture Society and the New England Sculptors' Association.