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.
At first, Colorado based artist Courtney Mattison, who describes herself as a visual learner, began sculpting her elaborate works inspired by sea creatures as a better way of understanding them. But over time, her love and admiration for these organisms evolved into a message about their well being and preservation. Previously featured here on our blog, Mattison hopes that her ceramic sculptures and installations, based on her own photographs of different organisms living in coral reefs, will inspire others to appreciate the beauty of the ocean as she does.
Baltimore, Maryland based artist Brad Blair designs imaginative sculptural monstrosities that combine features of real world animals with those from our dreams and nightmares. His works are an elaborate mixture of media, made of primarily clay and ceramic, natural parts like fox tails and fish fins, rubber cast tongues, and mechanical elements like watches and monofilament, giving them a certain science-fiction or cyborg quality.
Vipoo Srivilasa works predominantly in ceramics. He uses porcelain clay to hand build his work, then he paints over it with cobalt oxide to obtain the blue color. The last step of this process consists of firing the work at 1200°C. According to the artist, his work is saturated with symbols taken from different religions, although it’s not meant to evoke religion itself, but rather to reinvent certain religious images. “For the series Roop-Rote-Ruang (Taste-Touch-Tell), I used the Buddhist philosophy of Ayatana as a reference for my work. The Roop-Rote-Ruang (Taste-Touch-Tell) Project is a series of dinner parties that I hosted to embrace the Buddhist concept of “Ayatana” and the six “channels of awareness” (my guests’ sight, taste, smell, hearing, touch and mindfulness)”, he says.
Santa Fe, New Mexico based artist Max Lehman instills humor and playfulness into his surreal ceramic sculptures of ancient characters. Like artifacts of his youth, his whimsical versions of South American pre-Columbian gods, ghosts, and other creatures embody everything that the artist grew up on and loves, including 1950s advertisements, cartoons, graffiti, and punk rock music. Perhaps there is no better description of his work than the title of his next exhibition, “Gods + Goop + Gobbledygook”, opening at Stranger Factory in New Mexico on January 8th.