Kalish grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. He pursued his passion in both baseball and art, noting that some days he would sneak away from baseball practice to take figure-drawing classes or make art. During this time, Kalish had the opportunity to try out for major league teams such as the Atlanta Braves and the Yankees. He was a very talented player, though a serious back injury kept him from furthering an athletic career.
Kalish was fascinated with license plates and perhaps it was his upbringing in the Deep South that culled his interest in Americana. He began cutting and welding the license plates into maps, flags and large scale sculptures. Kalish gained recognition for his transformation of ordinary, everyday objects into meaningful works of art that reference a broad spectrum of American culture from political issues to cultural icons. Kalish’s passion for metal has recently evolved from salvaged parts to more refined laser cut aluminum and mirrored stainless steel sculptures with references to American culture, produced under Kalish Editions.
Kalish has completed several large-scale public installations for which he is well known, including “reALIze”, a large-scale multi-dimensional Muhammad Ali sculpture in downtown Los Angeles. The monument is larger than life, as is Ali’s legacy. It is an appropriate testament to the essence of the legend the world has come to know simply as “The Greatest.” The breathtaking effect is an enormous, 360-degree, two-story structure composed of five miles of stainless steel cables, two miles of aluminum tubing and 1,300 boxing speed bags.
Kalish has been the featured in the NY Times, The ARTnews Review, Wired Magazine, Time Magazine, The LA Times Magazine, People Magazine, Hollywood Life Magazine, US Weekly, American Way Magazine, Elle Magazine, Art in America and USA Today. He has also made TV appearances on CBS Sunday Morning and CNN’s “Route to the Top”. Most recently, he was the host of Discovery Channel’s “Final Offer”. Kalish’s art can be found in countless prominent art collections around the world.