On Sunday, February 28, the world — including The Revenant star Leonardo DiCaprio — will be watching with bated breath as announcers present the award for “Best Actor in a Leading Role” during the 88th Academy Awards. The only things standing in Leo’s way of claiming his first-ever Oscar? His four fellow “Best Actor” nominees — and one art studio in a tiny, relatively unheard-of hamlet in Orange County.
Though the awards ceremony takes place nearly 3,000 miles away, the Academy selected the Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry, nestled in sleepy Rock Tavern, New York, to recreate this year’s famous statuettes. It’s a huge honor, as the Academy is hoping to return to the original cast bronze design from 1928. Luckily, Polich Tallix is up to the challenge.
Says founder Dick Polich, “Polich Tallix has made many of such awards honoring all manners of accomplishment, but never before an object of such renowned and instant recognition.”
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (left) tours the Polich Tallix facility with founder Dick Polich; at right, the finished Oscar statuettes.
Photographs courtesy of Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (left) and Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry
The statuettes are first redesigned with 3D printing, using digital scans in order to restore the more pronounced features of the 1929 Art Deco sculpture. Afterward, the molds are cast in liquid bronze, sanded, plated with 24-karat gold, and polished. The resulting statuette, according to the Foundry, marries the best features of the classic Oscar to the contemporary form of the modern Oscar.
The process has even caught the eye of local politicians; on February 18, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney toured the Foundry, where he witnessed a “pour” of liquid bronze. “It was fascinating to watch,” says Maloney. “I’m so proud of Dick Polich and all the folks who work [here]. The Hudson Valley has always had a rich artistic history, and now our immensely talented artists get to make Oscar history by bringing a piece of the Hudson Valley to Hollywood.”
So Leo, if you’re reading this, be sure to include Orange County on your list of acknowledgments if you win that coveted Oscar.