Sunday, April 26, 2009

Erotic Art Show

I participated in the annual Erotic Art Show here in Helena, MT this last Saturday and had a wonderful time. I have to say, the level of art has improved immensely over the years. The slide show of erotic photography always seems to get the most attention, but the artists who are bringing their work to show are bringing some really nice pieces. There is black and white photography, oil paintings, bronzes, and of course, ceramics. The hosts at the Staggering Ox have a buffet, no host bar and a band. It's a great time for $5.

There was a new artist by the name of Nancy who had some nice charcoal portraits, a young artist by the name of Charlie who had a framed painting that was very cool (you can get a hint of it behind my sculpture in the image below) and some fun oils and found art. The work presented in the show in general seems to be progressing from tacky to more sensual, but as my friend Jodi has stated, "One person's erotic is another person's ordinary." Too true!

I took Daphne Awakening, and she seemed to be a hit. I changed her up a bit, darkened her colors, made a pedestal for her, and I am very pleased with the result. I will be updating the studio photos of her soon.

So what is Erotic Art, anyway? What makes one piece more erotic over another? To me, it is subtle - the suggestion. But I'm curious what you think. Comment below!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Thinking about Colors and Patterns, Part 4

I was thinking about texture, color and patterns, and the artists who are inspiring to me that use these markers for their own work. I kept coming back to what I originally fell in love with in ceramics, particularly wheel-thrown functional work -- Form.

When I came back to ceramics as an adult, I was fortunate enough to enroll in a summer class at the Archie Bray Foundation. I am grateful everyday for the Bray and its community outreach programs. In any case, this particular summer was one of the hotter summers in recent memory. We experienced 100+ degree Fahrenheit temperatures many too many days in a row. The classroom managed to stay relatively cool, though the irrigation canals nearby had hatched a fine bunch of mosquitoes, so it smelled of citronella and a multitude of bug repellents.

That summer I met Jeremy Kane, known as "Jr.", though I couldn't bring myself to call him that. Jeremy is an artist par excellence, but also one of the truly committed and talented ceramics teachers I've had the joy to study with. Form is Jeremy's specialty, though I suspect some will make an argument for his finishes of layered glaze, decals and lusters. He uses his form as an elegant canvas upon which to express his observations of kitsch, his commentary of absurdity. His finished work from a distance will spark thoughts of French aristocracy, and as you begin to study the detail you may be reminded of a '57 Chevy, early Playboy, or even KFC.

It is the form of the piece that is the foundation upon which the rest of the work will stand. That is what inspires me.

Jeremy is currently the head of the ceramics department at the University of Alaska-Southeast. Here are a couple online sites to see his work: The Red Lodge Clay Center, The Alaska State Museum.
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