Natalia Arbelaez’s figures, often built with clay, carry both humor and sadness in their strange forms. Her white ceramic sculptures, in particular, offer texture and personality that feel at once human and something subterranean. The Miami-born Colombian-American artist has excited her pieces across the U.S.
In Erika Sanada’s “Cover My Eyes,” running through July 30 at Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco, viewers find a new batch of ceramic sculptures from the Japanese artist. Sanada’s “dogs” typically feature at least one physical mutation and represent ongoing anxieties in the artist’s life. She explains the addition of new animals this time around: “The rats and birds present with the dogs are further extensions of myself and my fears. Birds, like my anxieties, are difficult to contain and control, and are always a part of me and my work.” The artist was featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 31.
Malaysian artist Umibaizurah Mahir’s meticulously crafted ceramics are almost exclusively in the form of stylized, comical creatures, like three dimensional hand-made cartoons. The complex psychology of her collectible “toys for adults” places them at the intersection of man, society and nature, where nothing is what it seems. Like Collodi’s “Pinocchio”, these naughty objects are often on the run, trying to escape on hand-painted ceramic wheels and wings, climbing their pedestals or breaking out of their frames.
Patti Warashina is a Pacific Northwest based artist known for her imaginative ceramic sculptures that are full of wit and sarcasm. At age 76, she does not stop inventing. Featured here on our blog, her clay figures are usually placed in fantasy environments, where she uses sculpture to explore such themes as the human condition, feminism, car-culture, and political and social topics.
For San Francisco based artist Erika Sanada, animals have long represented a sort of escapism from reality. Featured here on our blog and in Hi-Fructose Vol. 31, her creepy-cute sculptural incarnations of “zombified” baby creatures are analogies to her own demons. Over the years, we’ve seen her sculptures evolve into more dynamic pieces of art; playful, narrative scenes colored in a spectrum of somber hues. She explores a bolder, darker palette and decoration in her upcoming solo, “Cope.”
When we think of beauty in nature, we immediately think of things that dazzle the senses- the prominence of a mountain, the expanse of the sea, the unfolding of the life of a flower. For Polish artist Aneta Regel, there is also a beauty in nature’s unpredictability: it’s ability to “sculpt” rock formations from weathering and erosion, or the dense arrangements of moss on a tree branch. The London based ceramist challenges our perceptions with her work and makes us interested in these overlooked transformations.