Thursday, March 15, 2012

Review of the 'Figuration' Show at The Clay Studio, March 2011

Figuration Show at The Clay Studio. Paolo Porelli 'Electra' and 'Pomona', from the street

When Jeff Guido wrote to inform me of my invitation to be a Guest Artist in Residence at The Clay Studio, he also included me in an up-coming group show, entitled 'Figuration'. The other artists included Christina West, Lee Stoliar, Pattie Chalmers, Clayton Keyes and Melissa Mencini. My first exhibition in the States, it was reviewed almost a year later by Colette Copeland in Ceramics: Art & Perception n. 87, which I cite below.

Figuration Show at The Clay Studio. Paolo Porelli 'Electra' and 'Pomona' in the background

'Italian ceramicist Paolo Porelli's work adds some humour to the exhibition. Writer Lori-Ann Touchette dubbed Porelli's sculptures "ultra-pop idols". Inspired by Greek and Roman mythology and contemporary culture, Porelli's glazed, white porcelain figures infuse the archetypal with surrealist kitsch. In Pomona, the figure's head is a circular mass of spoons. She holds a donut in one hand while two small pigs graze at her feet. In Roman mythology, Pomona was the goddess of fruitful abundance. Porelli's goddess is the goddess of over-consumption, proffering sugary, gluttonous indulgence. The artist's other sculpture Electra is a white nurse-like or shaman-like figure holding a box with a long tube/cord. On the box is a carved 'E'. There are two Electras in Greek mythology: Electra who was raped by Zeus and Electra, the daughter of King Agamemnon and Queen Clytemnestra. It is unclear whether Porelli's Electra is there to use electricity to save or to kill.' 

Paolo Porelli back view of 'Electra' and 'Pomona', Figuration Show at The Clay Studio

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