Von Venhuizen
It's just a facade…

March 2 – April 28, 2018

John F. Lott Gallery

 

The pieces in this exhibition all deal with the "walls" we put in place to protect/insulate ourselves and the memories we have, or that are being created each day whether we like it or not.

As an artist it is inevitable that you will see things in a different light than most other people.  I consider myself an observer, a detective, and an artist.  I have always had a fascination pertaining to most all things antiquated, heavy, and industrial in nature.

My work is as much about what it “isn’t” as much as it is about what it “may be.”  I want the viewer to wonder and contemplate. No answers, only questions.  I attempt to give enough visual information in my pieces that the viewer can reference things that are familiar, yet, still mysterious. In the work there is a cross reference between industry and the human condition.  Ceramics has been a record of the human condition since the beginning of time.  Most of what we know about lost cultures comes from their ceramic pieces.  But, I am NOT creating a historical record for future generations, rather I hope to have a present day visual conversation with people asking “what could that be?” causing a moment of pause in their routine.  I take shapes and information that may seem familiar, and then add odd and mysterious parts to the conversation by creating an object that may lead the viewer in a certain direction.

Even being industrial in nature, my work is intended to run the entire spectrum of emotions and the human condition. Forms reference the spectrum: humor, sexuality, death, and anger.  Through the examination of vessels, industry, the human form, and firing techniques, I have started to analyze concepts incorporating all these ideas.  Pieces tend to be dark in color to bring about the idea that things aren’t perfect and rosy.  Losing family members to cancer and witnessing the horrific torture this disease causes, brings the fragility of life to the forefront.  Using a wood kiln to fire a majority of the pieces, the wood ash lends itself to the idea of slow daunting pain with tears running down a cheek and continuing to flow over a person.  Wood firing also adds a layer of ash to act as a “crust” or protective coating.  If things have the appearance of looking inhospitable, then more caution will be used when encountering them.  The appearance on the outside, may not tell the story within. A beautiful exterior or façade may be the most painful or deadly on the inside.

Even though all of this may seem to have a negative and hopelessness feel, it is meant to be quite the opposite.  Through examination of the pieces it is more about the triumphs and victories through the struggles.  

“If you aren’t laughing, yer crying.”

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