Detroit-based artist Matthew Angelo Harrison investigates analog and digital technologies to explore origins of all kinds. He makes low-resolution 3D printers and uses them to reproduce authentic African artifacts. Harrison plays havoc with the usual hierarchy of objects by literally elevating the new clay 3D printed works above the wood originals. Appearing at once earthy and other-worldly, the new clay sculptures are symbolic of many African-Americans’ relationship to their own African origins.
His artwork is often created by machines that he designs and builds from scratch. Matthew is interested in aspects of manufacturing, specifically its hidden performative aspect. He received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has shown his work at MOCAD and the Jewish Museum (NYC), and has a forthcoming solo exhibition at Atlanta Contemporary.
Yuichi Ikehata is an artist born and based in Chiba, Japan. In a series titled “Fragment of Long Term Memory”, Ikehata sculpts human bodies or body parts using wire, clay, and paper. Next, he photographs the sculpture and digitally adds in skin, hair, eyes, and other features. The final image is so seamless that the viewer cannot tell what is real and what is not. Each sculpture is frozen in a state of unravelling or partial decomposition, their skin flaking off to reveal the structure beneath, as if they were real bodies caught at the edge of an explosion.
Tel Aviv, Israel based artist Roni Landa works with polymer clay to create sculptures that combine the natural shapes of food and flowers with the texture of raw meat. Landa takes inspiration from classical sculpture, product and commercial design in this series called “Very Still Life” and comments on life and death.
Argentine sculptor Adrián Villar Rojas produces monumental site-specific works, primarily in clay. The artist first chose the material for its low price and availability, but since then it has come to influence his concept of form. With their crude physicality and cracked surfaces, his sculptures are redolent of ruins, but their forms are more futuristic than antiquated.
Takuro Kuwata is a young artist who works in ceramics. He has developed his own style originally starting from traditional techniques. His focus is to push the potential of his materials, while referencing traditional forms and making functional objects.
He is known for a number of experimental procedures, including adding stones to his clay mix so that when fired, they burst or puncture the clay structure, or using needles to catch the glaze of a vessel so that it creates a bumpy texture when fired. He thus leaves the final form of the work to chance, but is careful to ensure that each piece is still functional.
Jessica Stoller uses clay and the grotesque as a vehicle to explore the constructed world of idealized femininity, gathering imagery across cultural lines and histories. The clay is sculpted, draped, carved, woven, and piped to create a wide range of bewildering effects. Porcelain is her primary medium, a historically weighted material that is intrinsically linked to notions of desire, mystery, and consumption.
Karlsruhe, Germany based artist Hirofumi Fujiwara was born in Hiroshima, Japan. His sculptures in clay and plastic are looking aimlessly, yet awake and openly towards the viewer. In inconspicuous clothing, which Fujiwara has carefully painted, they appear contemporary. The transparent plastic tubes lull the figures partially or completely into pensive sleep and let their contours disappear, blurred behind virtual foam.
Hirofumi Fujiwara graduated in 2009 from the Okayama Prefectural University, Soja-shi, Okayama in Japan with a Bachelor of Arts. Since 2010 he has been studying at the Karlsruhe Academy of Fine Arts. In Japan his work has been exhibited in galleries, museums and cultural institutions.
Milan based Alessandro Boezio’s sculptures take on a strange life form all of their own. His work is somewhere between a cross of beautiful, anatomic sculptures and a science experiment gone wrong. Created from clay and fiberglass, the mutated anatomy includes hands with misplaced digits, spidery entities with fingers used for legs, and limbs with mismatched body parts.
The artist has an amazing talent in sculpture as his hands and feet, which he mainly focuses on, are incredibly life-like. At first glance, you may not see the odd mutation of the individual hand. However, the uncanny feeling soon forces you to reckon with its disturbing deformation.
Portland based artist Meredith Dittmar‘s human-animal-plant-energy clay amalgams contain threads of common elements and colors to express deep levels of union across themes of biology, technology, and consciousness. Her characters are frequently involved in quiet expressive moments, or lounge facing their audience so they can share their inner space. Dittmar believes it is this space we recognize in ourselves, and through convening in that space, the interconnectedness of all things is revealed. She sees the act of spontaneous artistic creation as part of a larger practice of being present, and a way to better understand herself and reality.
Darkness is said to be the absence of light, but what if darkness is the evidence of life? One look at Russell Cameron’s grotesque sculptures may have you gagging, but then suddenly a realization can hit the viewer: this IS life; this is what I avoid bringing into awareness, and just because I avoid it, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. “Russell’s main objective when creating a sculpture is to give it life, feeling and a place among us, whether it be a classic bust or a deformed limb mounted on a sheet of wood the piece should speak and tell a story to the viewer.”
The realism and surrealism of Cameron’s beautifully crafted sculptures made of metal, clay, paint and wood, brings to life the stories that live among us and in us.
Russel Cameron is a self-taught sculptor from Brooklyn, New York, hopefully bringing his ongoing project “Flesh and Bone” to a gallery near you.