Sunday, November 25, 2012

Beth Cavener Stitcher

The Four Humors: The Choleric
Stoneware, mixed media. 2010

Anywhere But Here
Stoneware, antique iron hook, dyed rope, wooden wall pedestal. 2010

i am no one
Stoneware, 2006.

Stoneware, wooden peg. 2009

Stoneware, wooden box. 2009

all above images/information from

The Sentimental Question 
Stoneware with ceramic glaze. 2012

The White Hind (The Bride)
Stoneware-based mixed media sculpture, 2012

above images/information taken from

Beth Cavener Stitcher was born in Pasadena, California, in 1972, to a molecular biologist and an art teacher. She at first intended to be a scientist like her father, and went to study physics and astronomy at  Haverford College in Pennsylvania. In her senior year, she switched her major to art and earned a BA in sculpture. She builds her massive pieces solid at first, sometimes with thousands of pounds of clay at a time, on steel armatures, and then cuts them into pieces and hollows them out, then reattaches them and cuts them apart again for kiln firing. Her work is based around human psychology, using a simple vocabulary of animals and color along with subtle, delicate nuances to create her poignantly human pieces.

I chose to write about Stitcher because her work is strikingly beautiful. The first piece I saw, A Question that Devours, struck a chord with me in its simplicity and tension. The softness of the surfaces of her pieces is remarkable to me - at once, I can imagine the soft fur that would be there were these animals real and the real, grating texture that the ceramic would have. The slight sexuality of her pieces too, put into animal form, makes her work more uncomfortable to look at than if they were human.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Cao Hui

Cao Hui 

Visual Temperature - Sofa
Resin, fiber, etc. 2008

Visual Temperature - Foot
Resin, fiber, etc. 2008

Unwrap Yourself - Sheep 4
Resin, fiber, etc. 2007

Cast porcelain. 2001

Cao Hui was born 1968 in Kunming, China, and currently works out of Beijing, China. He has both a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in art and sculpture, respectively, and has served as a lecturer in the Sculpture Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing since 2000. His work is monumental, often life-size or larger, and deals with organic matters: half-flayed animals, inanimate objects made of very animate things, and grotesque, cringe-worthy depictions of our own body parts, but can also deal with humor - Urinals refers to Duchamp's infamous urinal, but was also created to be humorous. 

I chose this artist to write about because his work is difficult to look at. It's hard to imagine sometimes what's inside of ourselves and his work is a look inside of ourselves, and then a look into the darker sides of our everyday world. I like how he uses the visceral to create a world for himself to create from, and the results of his efforts are thought-provoking even past their shock value. 

3rd Artist: Marc Swanson (For Nina)

Artist #3: Marc Swanson

Untitled (Boxer Box), 2010, Wood, chain, digital C-print, paint, polyurethane, 24 X 36 X 8 inches

Marc Swanson is an American artist, born in 1969 and raised in small-town New England by his father, who was an avid hunter and an ex-marine. In the early ‘90’s, he moved to San Francisco and became deeply involved in the gay counterculture scene there. At this time, he began making his most well known works—his crystal-covered bucks. These works explore the duality of his masculine identities and expresses the tear between his childhood influences and his adult life. When he moved to San Francisco he didn’t feel quite at home, and didn’t feel at home with his father either. His work is deeply tied to his own history. 
Swanson makes art from a wide array of media, including sculpture, drawing, collage, photography, video, and installation. In his sculptures alone, the materials used are diverse and reflective of the duality the works express. He often incorporates both “high” and “low” materials into his sculptures, such as crystals and gold and silver chains mixed in with cheap lumber and t-shirts and found antlers.
The first time I saw one of Swanson’s sculptures was two years ago t the Walker’s “Spectacular Vernacular” show. The piece was his Looking Back Buck, and its elegance was so striking I had to go back and look at it multiple times. Learning about his work and history now makes it even more beautiful to me.


Killing Moon III, 2005, Mixed media

Untitled (Looking Back Buck), 2004, Crystals, polyurethane foam, adhesive, 38 x 18 x 18 inches

Black Fighting Bucks, Crystals, polyurethane foam, adhesive, 2009

Killing Moon II, 2005, Mixed Media


Peregrine Honig - Nina's 2nd Artist

Artist #2: Peregrine Honig

UNTITLED, besswax, human hair, doilies, and cotton candy, 2010

            Peregrine Honig is an American illustrator, born in San Fransisco, CA in 1976. She attended the Kansas City Art Institute, and considers Kansas City to be her hometown, and draws inspiration from its infamous number of murders. Her main body of work consists of drawings and illustrations, but her sculptural works are equally intriguing and beautiful. In her work, Honig deals with the concepts of childhood, purity, sensuality, social anxiety, and the gap between right and wrong.
            In 2009-10, she was the runner-up in Bravo’s reality TV show The Next Great Artist. The final series she created for the show consisted of frames, horses, and “beautiful boys” made of beeswax shown alongside her illustrations, and a performance piece featuring herself making cotton candy for the judges. The pieces she showed had a child-like feeling to them, but left behind a creepy sensation at the same time. In the series she aimed to draw the audience in by appealing to their childish natures, and then lead them through a journey of self-reflection.
            I’ve been in love with Peregrine Honig ever since I discovered her art. I think her method of disarming her audience by bringing them back to childhood traumas is effective and relates to my own goals as an artist. The concepts she explores are uncomfortable, and deeply personal, yet easily relatable to everyone.

TWO BOYS, beeswax, 2010

SUBWAY SAINT, mixed media, 2012

BURNING FRAME, beeswax, paper, fire, 2010

THE FAWNS, preserved twin fawns and glass, 2010
Added awesomeness about this piece: these fawns were found inside a doe that had been hit and killed by a car. The little babies never even got to open their eyes. :’(


Charles Ray

Charles Ray

Oh! Charley, Charley, Charley... 
Mixed-media, 1992

Cyprus wood, 2007

Father Figure
Painted steel, 2007

The Examination 
Painted steel and human body, 1984

Family Romance
Mixed Media, 1993

Charles Ray was born in 1953 in Chicago, and works out of Los Angeles today. He uses a wide variety of mediums to create his sculpture, and his subjects are also diverse. However, they are all enigmatic and engage the viewer in personal and physical ways. Many of his sculptures make reference to toys, such as plastic model tractors, cars, or fire trucks, and also make use of the human form as a sculptural element. 

I chose to write about Charles Ray because his work inspires me. He uses the human body in ways that beg thought from the viewer, rather than presenting a body as a created object. His sculptures, in their scale and complexity, engage viewers in a way that many other sculptures don't. His work is also intensely personal, which is something I hope to achieve with my work. 

All photos/information taken from Charles Ray's website.

Peter Anton (Nina's first artist)

These are Nina's first 1 artist 

Artist 1: Peter Anton

Peter Anton in his studio surrounded by sculptures for an upcoming exhibition in New York  City. By: Robert Wilde

Peter Anton, born in 1963 in New Haven, Connecticut, is a sculptor who makes gigantic life-like sculptures of food products. At his first solo exhibition in New York in 1995 he showed 70 larger-than-life fruits and vegetables, but has more recently been working with the foods that people really crave—sweets. He is best known for his chocolate boxes, but also builds massive popsicles, donuts, and candy hearts using a wide array of mediums to replicate their textures.
            By creating works that convincingly portray sweet treats, Anton is able to capture his audience quickly. He is interested in people’s affection for food, and the way that food can bring people together and spread joy.  In his artist statement, Anton says, “I like to create art that can lure, charm, tease, disarm and surprise. My sculptures put viewers in a vulnerable state so that I can communicate with their inner selves in a more honest and direct way. I activate the hunger people have for the things that give them pleasure and force them to surrender.”
            I love the symbolism that Anton finds in food. The need for sustenance and the craving for pleasure are things that every person can instantly relate to. His work forces his audience to feel something and to re-think the nature of needs and desires within themselves. Plus, OH MY GOD THEY’RE SO BEAUTIFUL!

DARK CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM BAR, 65 x 23 x 9 inches, mixed media, 2007

DARK CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM BAR, 65 x 23 x 9 inches, mixed media, 2007

BOXED DONUTS, 27 x 36 x 5.5 inches, mixed media, 2012

PINK CONFETTI CAKE, 51 x 40 x 40 inches, mixed media, 2012

SPILLED SUNDAE 15 x 40 x 24 inches, mixed media, 2009


Friday, November 23, 2012

Artist Six: Nagi Noda

Nagi Noda was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1798, and passed away in 2008 due to surgical complications from injuries caused by a traffic accident. She is known for being a pop artist and director. Her work includes music videos, short films, and commercials. In addition to Noda’s video work, she was involved in fashion and created a series of “hair hats.” These consisted of animal-shaped sculptures, made by hair weaves, real hair, and wire. 

It is a tragedy, that Nagi Noda’s life was cut so short; she had much potential and was successful in various art fields. Although, a lot of her focus was on video work, I found her series of “hair hats,” to be both extraordinary and creative. I am left in awe and am fascinated with Noda’s accomplishment of constructing detailed animals out of an unconventional material such as hair.

Sites Used:

Nagi Noda created this series from hair weaves, real hair, and wire before her death in 2008.  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Artist Five: Mark Dion

Mark Dion was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1961. He is an artist who creates installations through scientific methods of collecting and organizing objects. Dion focuses on knowledge about nature, and questions science’s role in society today. He has given himself the title, “Artist and amateur naturalist.”

Through attending Mark Dion’s lecture, I learned that his projects focus on nature and science. However they vary from mobile clubs to green houses. His intent is to showcase nature, preservation, death, and decay. I appreciate that he makes it his goal to engage all of the senses in his pieces, (this was made most evident in the Seattle Nurse Log.)

Site Used:

 "Neukom Vivarium." 2006, Installation.“neukom-vivarium”/

"Library for the Birds of Antwerp." 1993, Installation, 18 African Finches, Tree, Ceramic Tiles, Books, Photographs, Bird Cages, and Assorted Objects.

"Urban Wildlife Observation Unit." 2002, Multimedia Installation Unit.

"Alexander-Wilson-Studio." 1999, Wooden Structure, Mixed Media.

"The Museum of Poison, (Biocide Hall)." 2002, Wood and Glass Display Cabinets, Wooden Pedestals, Pesticide, and Assorted Objects.