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.
Pennsylvania based photographer Peter Olson has found a unique way of presenting his photographic prints. Also a sculptor, he doesn’t stop at traditional photo paper- his photo-montages of people and places he’s visited are produced on a series of ceramics that he calls “Photo Ceramica”. Olson’s photos are encased on each piece, left by ink from prints that, when fired, burn away and leave a permanent image from the iron oxide in the ink. The form of a three-dimensional object, such as an urn or a plate, instantly makes his photo works more dynamic and complex.
There’s something oddly beautiful about the work of Kansas based artist Jamie Bates Slone. Her vibrant sculptures are teaming with diseased growths and discolorations, and the effect is simultaneously fascinating and horrifying. Slone can relate to the physical and emotional impact that disease brings. “Through conjured memory, I revisit my family’s history with illness and premature death. These memories are flooded with emotion and anxiety that I use as the base of my sculptural work,” she says.
If we continue spewing pollution into the atmosphere, our climate will only continue to change, and the oceans will be very different than they are today. Ocean temperatures will rise, and with that, rising PH levels will make the water more acidic. It’s simple chemistry and a sad fact. So how do we solve this problem? Artist and ocean advocate Courtney Mattison has made it the mission of her ceramic sculptures to remind us of the ocean’s beauty and inspire preservation. Her “Changing Seas ” series, previously featured on our blog, is Mattison’s first major work towards this goal.
Kim Simonsson’s ceramic sculptures of strange children and their forest animal friends are like something out of a Nordic fairytale. Some of them have long ears giving them a fairy-like appearance, with empty eyes that make us wonder what lies underneath their ceramic “shell”. Previously featured on our blog, their strangeness is in part due to Simonsson’s combination of influences from Western and Eastern pop culture. Opening on October 8th, Simonsson will reveal his latest series at Jason Jacques Gallery in New York.
Ceramic figurines are like little reflections of ourselves. Historically modeled after royalty, famous actors, and unusual characters from every day life, they can show us who we are and where we come from. Scotland based artist Jessica Harrison sees figurines in much the same way, but beauty is only skin deep. She turns those reflections inside out to reveal her subjects’ personality and complexities underneath.