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.
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.