John Safer first enjoyed successful careers in television and real estate. He began sculpting in 1965 and has since balanced his life as an artist with that of boardroom executive. His early sculptures were significant for his work in Lucite, a pioneering material which gives sculptors a more flexible alternative to glass while keeping that material’s ability to engage with and manipulate light.
The advent of Lucite as a sculptural material in the 1960s marked an important point in twentieth-century sculpture, opening up new possibilities just as aluminum had done in the 1930s. Safer’s work in Lucite uses simple geometric forms with a clarity and simplicity of execution that have become the artist’s hallmarks. In the last twenty years he has applied these techniques to monumental public works made of polished bronze and steel. Today, his work can be found in private and public collections and embassies throughout the world, including the Smithsonian Institution’s Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum and Harvard University.