Have you ever heard of the “feminine grotesque?” Neither had I. But the descriptor seems to fit Jessica Stoller’s ceramic works like a glove. These delicate and intricate porcelain sculptures are undoubtably girlish creations but with a darker edge. It’s totally badass.
I think Hyperallergic described her installation perfectly:
“At first glance, the grinning skull may not so much alarm you because the whole ensemble appears perfectly frilly, pastel, and proper. It takes a minute to register that a number of the desserts appear to be made from breasts, others topped with hands whose fingernails look like they belong to some Cruella de Vil–like personification of death. At one end of the table, what looks like a pastry features the visage of a blonde woman, her lips an icy purplish pink and a fly grazing on her left cheek. Suddenly the chocolate dripping from the strawberries at the other end begins to look quite sinister.”
So yeah. Creepy and weird and also incredible. Check her out.
I found this on Tumblr recently and thought it was kind of fabulous. You’ve gotta love the irreverence millennials have for ancient art and museums. It’s ridiculous.
There is, however, a lot of serious and merited debate currently happening in the museum world over this very topic. Should we embrace this type of behavior or condemn it. A lot of museums are starting to do away with or readjust their iphone policies.
The Claremont Spotlite is a brand new online publication that highlights local artists and cultural events in the Claremont area. It’s a really neat idea and, despite just launching this year, the site already has a bunch of great content. Last week I wrote a guest blog post for them where I got to rant about art. In particular, I wrote about how I’ve been using the widespread availability of online arts communities as an excuse to stop experiencing art in person. Why trek all the way into LA during rush hour traffic to see an exhibition when I can discover just as many inspiring and innovative artists on Tumblr? It’s all online. I don’t even need museums or galleries anymore!
It’s been something that I’ve grappled with a lot over the past year but I’ve recently been reinvigorated by in-person art experiences. If that’s at all interesting to you, go check out the article on Spotlite for some personal musings and unsolicited advice.
With the unlimited potential of a Google search bar, it’s easy to forget about the opportunities for discovery that exist right here in sleepy Claremont. Finding artists online is so easy that I often don’t pursue opportunities that are unique to my geographic location. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve actually made it to an LA gallery show, and I can count the number of museum visits on two. The Internet is an amazing tool, but I fear that I have been using it as a crutch instead; as a way to avoid seeking out creative experiences in person. With the whole world wide web at my fingertips, it is easy to forget that we have an impeccably curated gallery right here on campus. Every time I stumble into the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery I am impressed by the variety and caliber of artists shown, but I always forget it’s there. I always plan to attend the exhibitions, but even as an Art History major, I’ve missed more shows than I’ve attended.
I just stumbled into the Ruth Chandler Williamson Art Gallery after class yesterday to discover that the new ceramics exhibition is finished and open to the public! I’ve been so crazy busy lately that I completely missed the opening reception (apparently it happened last weekend?) and was delighted to discover one of the most whimsical ceramics show I’ve ever seen. Scripps is well known for its Ceramics Annual and this is the 71st, guest curated by Julia Haft-Candell. I immediately got caught up in the beautiful colors, shapes and textures and was almost late to work because of it. (Oops.)
I didn’t get to spend nearly as much time with the art as I would have liked but fully intend to go back in the coming weeks for closer inspection. Here are a couple of pictures from my initial walk-around. I’ll probably post more later as I predict several new “Artist Obsession” posts in my future…