born Muncie, IN 1953-died San Francisco, CA 2018
David Beck is influenced by crank toys, whirligigs, and eighteenth- and nineteenth-century mechanical robots called automata that delighted, and sometimes tricked, children and adults. An accomplished woodworker, sculptor, painter and craftsman, Beck builds intricate moving sculptures such as operas, band shells, movie houses, and museums. Beck handcrafts each complex component himself using rare materials such as linden and walnut woods, ivories, inlays, lacquers, and mussel and ostrich-egg shells. He is a musician as well as an artist and records many of the sound effects for his pieces.