Painterly Ceramic Sculpture
Contact: Kari Kaplan Rives at (505) 780-1432
I have worked in various media throughout my life, studying painting and glass at the School of The Museum of Fine Art in Boston, as well as the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. My training demanded that I be held accountable for honesty of purpose and possessing a truly critical eye toward the quality of the work, which are necessary for a lifetime in art. My subject matter has generally dealt with animals and figures – imaginary and real – secured in safe places. I am also intrigued by the concept of inanimate objects having feelings and an inner life.
In recent years my work has focused more on animals. They play such an important part in many of our lives, and I have always been drawn to them: the way they express themselves, their shapes, and the fact that they almost always forgive. In my current work, my concern is less with details than with the feelings that the animal evokes. I try to say as much as possible with the least amount of refinery, striving to keep a sense of life breathing from my forms. The tactile nature of clay provides a great opportunity for expressive gesture, and I prefer to leave the evidence of my touch, moving quickly to maintain a sense of physicality. My aim is that my sculptures convey the energy and essence of the subjects they represent.
My pieces are often fired repeatedly from high to lower temperatures, offering me a huge color palette to draw from and an increased depth and layering as a result. The process offers so many surprises: one never knows exactly what will come out of the kiln ~
Tom Collins of the Albuquerque Journal describes my animal miniatures and wall-hung pieces as “fast, loose and amazingly affecting evocations....The visible pressure of each finger stroke somehow has molded (Joseph’s) visage and more importantly, his personality.”