Jerry Cibilich sculpture, "Crystal Radio Antenna," 1991



Jerry Cibilich sculpture, "Crystal Radio Antenna," 1991


Jerry Lee Cibilich (1957-2011) worked as a California lifeguard in the summer, and studied art in Italy in the winter under famous artists like Marco Gastini and Mario Merz. The ocean, found its way into his work through the use of salt, waves of all kinds, and prints of sea creatures.

In 1991, he was given the chance to enter a big show at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. The artwork he created for the show repurposed a downed transmission antenna that he found in Chino Hills, CA. He used the antenna to power a crystal radio that he constructed to detect ambient radio waves. This was at least the third radio sculpture Jerry had made, and by far the largest. Another piece had consisted of a copper kite that he installed across a gallery space in Munich in 1985.

After the Arena show, Jerry was invited to install the radio sculpture in the courtyard of the home rented by Ileana Sotela, a Costa Rican woman who had viewed it at the Arena show. It stayed there approximately six months, until Sotela changed residences. Then Jerry had to find another place to put it, so artist Norton Wisdom let him install it on the hill above his house in the Snake Pit at Topanga Beach.

Jerry Cibilich died from cancer in 2011, and the vast majority of his California-produced artworks were destroyed in the Malibu fire of 2018.




Digital only


Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of Topanga Historical Society gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.


Jon Drucker
←Next Item
Previous Item→



Jon Drucker, “Jerry Cibilich sculpture, "Crystal Radio Antenna," 1991,” Topanga Historical Society Digital Archive, accessed June 13, 2024,