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Art

Multi-Story Murals Showcase Domesticity through Elegant Ceramic Tableware

October 23, 2020

Grace Ebert

Oviedo, Spain. All images © Manolo Mesa, shared with permission

Spanish street artist Manolo Mesa merges public and private spheres through large-scale murals that highlight simple domestic objects. The multiple-story artworks depict traditional dining scenes, from an elegant porcelain tea set to a lone jug with swirling flourishes to another vessel resting on a saucer.

To complete a recent tableau in Oviedo, Spain, for Parees Fest, Mesa explored the history of an abandoned pottery factory in San Claudio. Event organizers gathered tableware from local residents, a collection that informed the shapes and exterior motifs of his work. “I was able to see all the evolution of this earthenware in the houses of Oviedo. I found postwar pieces, which were inherited and preserved with great affection by collectors. We saw (the) tableware of a lifetime from the middle of the century,” he writes on Instagram. Showcasing a delicate collection of vessels, the resulting mural explores an otherwise hidden facet of local history.

Find Mesa on Instagram to view some works-in-progress and follow his ceramic-centric projects.

 

 

 



Art

Using Shattered Ceramics, Artist Bouke de Vries Revitalizes Found Porcelain in New Sculptures

October 7, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Bouke de Vries, shared with permission

Bouke de Vries (previously) refers to some of his porcelain sculptures as “three-dimensional still lifes.” The artist, who was born in the Netherlands and now lives in London, creates sprawling assemblages that resemble a classic bowl of fruit or table setting frequently found in Dutch art. “I compose these pieces as, after the painter has finished with them, the ceramics get broken and decayed, and I breathe new life into them. The butterfly in still life is a symbol for the resurrection in (the) way I see what I do through my work,” he tells Colossal. In de Vries’s works, though, the seemingly mundane scenes are fractured with bursting ceramics, encroaching insects, and decaying fruit.

The artist began working with porcelain as a restorer for 15 years before embarking on his own practice, which begins with a search for broken pottery and glass shards. He never breaks an undamaged piece but rather revitalizes those that are damaged already by creating new figures that celebrate the beauty of their previous forms. With a penchant for Kintsugi, he often utilizes gold lacquer to highlight the repaired cracks.

Alongside sculptural still lifes, the figure of Guan Yin, the Buddhist goddess of compassion, mercy, and kindness, recurs in de Vries’s work. Often surrounded by cracked shards and recomposed garments, she conveys an ability for understanding and repair.

In recent weeks, de Vries has been working on commissions and new pieces, in addition to a large-scale project that spans the entrance of one of Sotheby’s Bond Street galleries, which you can see on Instagram. To find out more about the artist’s vision behind that piece, watch this interview. (via Cross Connect Magazine)

 

 

 



Art Food

Insatiable Mouths and Fingers Rouse a Delicate Tea Set by Artist Ronit Baranga

September 14, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Ronit Baranga, shared with permission

Israeli artist Ronit Baranga (previously) embodies voracious appetites by merging anatomical parts, desserts, and serving ware in an evocative ceramic series titled All Things Sweet and PainfulDextrous fingers balance a plate and manage to swipe a bit of frosting from a cupcake. Whether implanted in a fruity pie or a teacup, gaping mouths clamor for a taste of the pastries and stick their tongues out for a taste.

In a statement, Baranga explains that the surreal series is focused on luxurious foods. “The mixed emotions of need and the insatiable hunger for more – more sugar, more attention, more love. There is a constant push against the boundaries of rational consumption, craving the sugar rush, forever tempted to go overboard,” she says.

Baranga has a number of ongoing and upcoming exhibitions scheduled, including at Munich’s størpunkt through October 31 and the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel-Aviv through 2021. The sumptuous artworks shown here will be on view at Beinart Gallery in Melbourne starting mid-October, and you can browse more of Baranga’s sculptures on Instagram.

 

 

 



Craft

Quirky Characters Anthropomorphize Patterned, Pastel Vases by Ceramicist Sandra Apperloo

September 9, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Sandra Apperloo, shared with permission

Sandra Apperloo infuses her love for pastels and tiny freckles into a playful crew of characters. Shaped to hold a single flower stem, the anthropomorphized vases display a range of emotions and together, form a series humorously named Weirdo Bud Vases. Their lengthy bodies are covered in polka dots, floral motifs, and stripes, and while some stand straight up, others twist around a similarly dressed figure. “I hope my works make people laugh and daydream. I hope they distract from daily businesses, leave warm feelings, and tickle imaginations,” she writes.

Based in the city of Utrecht in the Netherlands, Apperloo works under the moniker The Pottery Parade and creates planters, mugs, bowls, and other vessels through a mix of hand-building and wheel-based techniques. She doesn’t plan each piece in advance, instead favoring a method that involves “finding what feels good at that moment. This is the case for every part of the process: shaping, sculpting, choosing the colors, and painting the patterns. It helps me to stay open-minded and try out new things, which I feel is really important in my work,” she says.

To snag one of her pieces, which includes a forthcoming series of holiday ornaments, follow Apperloo on Instagram, where she often shares announcements about shop updates.

 

 

 



Art

Layered Botanics Comprise Artist Vanessa Hogge's Delicate Porcelain Assemblages

September 1, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Vanessa Hogge, courtesy of Ester Segarra/Vessel Gallery, shared with permission

Vanessa Hogge translates her lifelong fascination with flowers into monochromatic assemblages of hydrangeas, roses, and myriad blossoms. The London-based artist (previously) has been working on EFFLORESCENCE since October 2019. Each of the delicate porcelain pieces is adorned with innumerable hand-sculpted florets and leaves that blossom from a central base.

Rather than studying horticulture textbooks and the intricacies of plant life, Hogge works entirely from her memory and imagination and frequents gardens and other places where organic elements thrive for observation. “I’ve traveled to research in the Okavango Swamps in Botswana, the flower-filled valleys of the Northern Cape in South Africa, and this January (just before lockdown), to Southern India to be surrounded by the exotic vegetation there—just beautiful,” she tells Colossal.

Hogge’s inspirations, though, are vast. She imbues elements of the funky textiles created in the 1970s, miniature depictions of Indian gardens, and Frida Kahlo’s iconic flowers. “As an artist, the variety of their forms and structures is immense and endless. People comment and wonder when I will move on and if I will tire of flowers, but how can I? This fascination is also steeped in my family matriarchs—strong women gardeners and the great outdoors,” she says.

The artist’s work will be part of a virtual show at Living Object Gallery from October 23-25, 2020. Until then, she offers a brief look into her studio and process in this short video and on Instagram. You also might enjoy Hitomi Hosono’s intricate vessels.

 

 

 



Art

Delft-Style Weaponry by Artist Helena Hauss Contrasts Fragility with Strength and Destruction

August 15, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Helena Hauss, shared with permission

Paris-based artist Helena Hauss juxtaposes the domestic femininity synonymous with delft-style porcelain and the brute force of barbed weaponry. Her sculptural series, titled Hell Hath no Fury, is composed of an axe, grenade, spiked bat, and flail, each of which is ornamented with floral motifs.

Hauss shares with Colossal that she hopes to disrupt notions that women are the “weaker sex” and opts instead for a message of empowerment. “Too often portrayed as fragile and delicate, this project is an expression of the contrasting subtleties that come with femininity, as well as an attempt at vindication from a feeling of constant vulnerability that’s been forced upon us,” she says. “Contrary to what you might think, we’re not made of glass, porcelain, or crystal. We’re not gonna break, we’re wearing full metal jackets, and we’re ready to fight back.”

To view more of the Hauss’s subversive sculptural works, head to Instagram and Behance.