Lady Gaga portrays The Countess in the new season of "American Horror Story." Lady Gaga portrays The Countess in the new season of "American Horror Story." Lady Gaga portrays The Countess in the new season of "American Horror Story." (Photo: FX Networks)

Meet the artist behind those bizarre sculptures on 'American Horror Story'

Sculptor’s whimsical modern pieces add character to Lady Gaga’s penthouse.

The creepy Cortez Hotel in the new season of FX’s “American Horror Story” is designed in the art deco style of the 1930s, but the bloodthirsty Countess (Lady Gaga) has a more modern taste in art. Her penthouse prominently displays four dramatic, contemporary sculptures by artist Arik Levy, who works out of a studio in Paris.

Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, Levy exhibits his work in galleries all over the world. He’s also a photographer, designer and video artist, but it was his unique sculptures that caught the eye of “American Horror Story” writers Ned Martel and John Gray at a solo exhibition at the Please Do Not Enter gallery in Los Angeles over the summer.

“I was very intrigued to see how the pieces were going to be used and how they would be integrated with the characters and the whole story,” Levy told From The Grapevine. He was more than satisfied with the outcome. “When I saw the selection, I saw they really captured the spirit of the work and the relationship between the pieces installed in the space.”

Arik Levy with his SolidLiquid sculpture that appears on the popular FX show.Arik Levy with his SolidLiquid sculpture that appears on the popular FX show. (Photo: Ian Scigliuzzi)

The four sculptures include RockStone, a freestanding mirror-polished stainless steel piece standing 7.5 feet high; FacetPattern, a wall-mounted stainless steel and marble sculpture; AbstractRock, made of painted copper wire; and SolidLiquid, a blown colored glass piece that looks like mercurial metal. They took between four months and a year to make and “get it as perfect as I want it,” Levy says.

He characterizes the pieces as having “an angle of magic, power and integrity. They calmly provoke and interact with the space and people’s mind and eye. They also make one ask questions, and look for relative references in each one’s personal life experiences. My aesthetics are not one but a world of merging parameters,” he says.

Not surprisingly, Levy lives and breathes art. “I love it and cannot live without it. The downside is I am a very bad sleeper, and my mind drives me crazy with images and ideas.”

Growing up in Israel gave his work rawness and directness, Levy told us during our interview. “It’s a place you have to reinvent yourself daily and get things done right.” He goes back often to visit family, including his 101-year-old grandmother.

Arik Levy's RockStone sculpture at the Please Do Not Enter gallery in Los Angeles.Arik Levy's RockStone sculpture at the Please Do Not Enter gallery in Los Angeles. (Photo: Marcia Prentice)

“I have a lot of energy and motivation,” says the twice-married father of three, who is currently working on various projects and commissions and wants to expand that. “I have not yet had a museum show and I cannot wait to do that one day in the right place with the right energy. Many things are cooking and that is good. One should not pull out of the fire what is not really ready. In mid-next year I will install an amazing pair of very large-scale outdoor pieces in Taipei, juxtaposed to two newly built Richard Rogers towers. A few other exciting projects are in the pipe. It’s a great period of creation of new works.”

If Hollywood comes calling again, that would be fine, too. “I am a science fiction addict,” says Levy. “I would definitely put my heart there.”

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