This piece expands on themes from a previous installation that dealt with inter-generational trauma, i.e., the unresolved affects of trauma that have been passed on from one generation to the next. I wanted to further explore the nature of trauma, this time specifically in relation to archetypes of heroism and the heroic’s relationship to violence.
This series is based on the concept of curiosity cabinets. The books have been collected in flea markets in Brussels and Lisbon and are now inhabited by white creators giving them a new life, with imagined stories.
Vitor Reis: These works relate to some popular Portuguese native customs. The aim is to appropriate those customs and refresh them by creating new relations. Those new relations intend to create experiences and criticism of our present time.
Mountain This work is based in the traditional representation of the Caldas da Rainha phallus. The piece is composed by many little representations of crammed phalluses. In a first look, they look like candies, but after a closer look the shapes start to define themselves.
This project presents a brick photographed in the surroundings of different disused ceramic factories around the city of Caldas da Rainha, Portugal. The work is carefully positioned to best reflect the surrounding environment. The brick with wings is photographed with other found bricks, as if the brick had flown away one day, returning on this occasion for a visit.
Animals have been used in stories as metaphors and analogues for human experiences and feelings for ages. Their representations are a source of comfort, protection, wisdom, tragedy, and sorrow. In reality, we manipulate, control, use, and abuse these very same animals for our own benefit. The sculptures I create stem from this dichotomy.
Ice bliss, 2013 These white and gray cones, irregular and of different heights were made from icicles “grown” in PET bottles which were then molded at various stages of melting, like the retreat of glaciers in our mountains. Ice bliss is a metaphor for global warming. It is also the way art turns ice into vases. Function at service of contemplation and reflection and vice versa.
This series focuses on specific issues we learn about when we are children, and how we react to these same issues as we age based on the way we were taught. Some of the issues I have explored within this series are gender roles, sexuality, and women’s rights.
Children are like sponges and what we learn or are exposed to will effect our ideas as adults, sometimes in rejection of but usually in adherence to the ideals we were taught. The children I sculpt are often pensive or somber and confront the viewer with their gaze. Their expressions are captured in a psychological portrait that solemnly expresses the enormity of their journey ahead.
In this series, works depicting physical aging and a gendered issue surrounding dementia are engaged from a female point of view. Questions surrounding social responsibility are visited through an intimate look at a mother’s dilemma. My focus shifted to my mother after a few years of observing and caring for her while she navigated her days living with Alzheimer’s disease. My mother’s countenance emerges in the work through clay figures over a period of time and through multiplicity. By investigating concrete representations and creating situations that the viewer will identify with, I hope to engage the viewer in a deeper way.
Gaku Shakunaga: New Pyramids in Black / Yufuku Gallery, Tokyo July 10-19, 2014
Gaku Shakunaga (b. 1978) creates swirling stoneware pyramids drenched in luscious black glaze accentuated with lacquer. One of the younger ceramists of Yufuku, Shakunaga represents the future of Japanese ceramic sculptors, of artists who are not afraid to create non-functional ceramics that are devoid of function, and are challenging conceptual objects that are modes of expression as well as outlets for the artist’s aesthetics. Having graduated with a degree in sculpture from the leading Tokyo University of Arts, the most prestigious of art universities in Japan, Shakunaga’s new works find the artist combining the forms of his previous Sekiso series with his new-found muse in black.
“Up until two years ago, my father, Yaakov, had an agricultural mechanization workshop. Every time I visited the workshop, I found myself entranced by the power of the iron boards and the pile of black and rust colored iron pipes of different diameters, waiting to be used”, Simcha Even-Chen reminisces.
“When I saw the call for entries for the contest and exhibition at Kapfenberg, Austria, entitled “At the Moment”, I decided to use these memories of my father’s workshop. This was the birth of “A Moment Before…” a work I created in 2009, which has since led to the growth of a whole body of works”.1
The memories that awakened this body are the evolution of the artistic research Even-Chen had been immersed in during the period of 2006-2009. This group of sculptures, entitled “Illusion”, was exhibited at The Fifth Israeli Ceramics Biennale at The Eretz Israel Museum (2008), among other places, and even received the Gold Coast International Ceramic Art Award.
I have developed a process utilizing my knowledge of various casting methods and glaze, chemistry to create forms made entirely glaze. The color and texture is appealing and repulsive at the same time. When viewed through a magnifying glass the surface resembles Scanning Electron Micrographs of cancer cells. The fragile and fleeting appearance of these pieces symbolizes the transient nature of human life. This series of glaze, casted hands represent the genetic passing of disease from generation to generation. It is my fear that my family’s history with cancer is somehow genetic.
Sakiyama Takayuki and Fukumoto Fuku / Joan B Mirviss, New York June 10 - August 22, 2014
Sakiyama Takayuki: Tidal Forms
Sakiyama Takayuki (b. 1958) continues to expound on his series: Chōtō - Listening to the Waves. Focusing now on the power of the ocean, the artist created these highly sculptural ceramic works to evoke the sublime nature of the waves and currents.
Sakiyama continues to mine the rugged coastline and beaches of his home on the Izu Peninsula for inspiration. The surfaces of his strikingly unique centrifugal forms give the appearance of having been made from sand. A special glaze that he developed highlights the intricate designs, which the artist achieves by carving the clay. Moving and receding across the surface, the texture also echoes raked Zen Gardens. These substantial double-walled vessels maintain true to their functional origins while conveying a highly sculptural quality.