Lars Calmar’s figures, often bare and grotesque, carry a humanity that feels at once humorous and sincerely tortured. Even when using animals alongside his baby-like creatures and hulking brutes, the ceramic works feel as wholly human, though primal, in emotion. The artist’s sculptures have been shown in galleries and museums across the world.
The surreal ceramic sculptures of Malaysia native Chao Harn Kae are both strange and humorous, combining creatures and appendages with delicate textures. The Hong Kong-based artist’s dreamlike works range in size and mood, as the figures bounce between evoking playfulness and timidness. His charge has been described as “unraveling humanity while remaining true to human nature.”
Montana-based ceramic sculptor Adrian Arleo crafts surreal figures and hybrid creatures. Toying with scale and texture, Arleo subverts the nature of familiar beings from our world. The result are works that inspire both awe and uncomfortability. The artist says that the themes at play in her pieces are numerous.
Korean ceramics artist Maeng Wookjae creates strange animals and figures that feel both familiar, yet disconcertingly outside the realm of reality. Yet, the artist’s work may be more tethered to our own world than one would imagine. In a statement, he details his thought process in engaging with the viewer, saying one “not only intellectually comprehends the work but also viscerally appreciates it if their preconceptions are challenged or senses other than sight are stimulated.”
Linda Cordell’s ceramic sculptures offer familiar creatures and figures, yet many carry a darker edge. Much of Cordell’s work depicts the animal kingdom, in varying states of tension or external conflict. Most sculptures carry the natural color of porcelain, with pops of bright hues that mark points of interest (or impact, depending on the piece).
Tennessee native Richard W. James uses ceramics and found objects to create surreal figures and scenes. Using earthenware, fabrics, and underglaze, he forges these characters from materials he associated with his youth. The artist says that in doing this, he “explores the discrepancy between how we, as humans, see ourselves and how we would like others to see us.”