Diane Komater is an alchemist. Her work turns solids into sculptures that appear almost liquid in the way they flow together and fill a room. As an artist, Komater bends hardened wire to her will, transforming the matter of her materials into soft, fluid lines that dance with shadows to create breathtaking new forms. There was no pre-existing term for the way she harnesses light and wire to transform a space, so the talented mixed-media artist created her own descriptor: she’s a “wireist.” When asked to describe what she creates, Komater says simply, “My art is wire sculpture.” But while her answer is literally true, her finished projects evoke a playful grandiosity that seem to demand further descriptors—words like inspired, nonconformist, and intimate all come to mind.

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Artist’s Self Portrait

A graduate of the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, CA, Komater has spent the past 28 years tapping into the wild essence of wire, shaping both her own potential and that of the raw materials before her. Komater says she finds inspiration in routine—like during her daily walks. “I usually start my day with a walk in a favorite cemetery of mine,” she shares. “Cemeteries are most often beautifully landscaped parks filled with history. They give me energy and happiness.”

Komater creates such beautiful art with wire, it’s easy to forget how unusual her medium is. When asked what led her to choose it as her primary material, her explanation traces the trajectory of her creative career. “Why wire?” Komater says, repeating the question. “Well, I came across this dark steel wire when I was at a hardware store. I was making jewelry at the time, and I thought this wire would be a cheaper option for my baubles. I started making candlesticks, some chandeliers, and eventually, large wall figures and wire box images. My work sold quickly. I liked the medium, even though it can be hard, and the outcome was rewarding. The shadows are an extra bonus,” she adds. “Their muted lines mimick the original in an exaggerated way.”

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Van Gogh (Diane Komater)

In addition to taking commissions and participating in gallery shows, Komater teaches workshops to those who want to feel the potential of wire with their own hands. You can find her work at Norton Factory Studios in Oakland and at Freehand in Los Angeles. Her most recent show at UMA, “Wired: RATED X,” featured mostly nudes (“not hard-core,” she clarifies). “My advice for young artists,” she says, “especially female artists, is don’t listen to people telling you what to create.” To see more of Komater’s work, commission your own piece, or sign up for a workshop, visit dianekomater.com or check out her Instagram account @Diane_Komater.

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Get Out of My Womb! (Diane Komater)

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