Matt Towers: Catastasis

Mar 2nd - Apr 1st, 2007

"I work with the vase form for its associations with correctness, good taste and social hierarchy so that I may reinterpret these notions sculpturally based upon my own personal sensibilities as well as the contemporary world order. I use porcelain to hearken back to notions of "fine treasures" as well as for its sensual nature. Variations on traditional pottery forming techniques such as throwing, stamping and press molding serve as a means of referencing historical concepts associated with pottery forms. The subversion of the expected form defines the work, and surfaces are treated minimally so as not to obscure this. A collision between good and bad taste is another motive for using glaze to "finish" the piece while simultaneously making humorous and/or visceral connections. Luster glazes, which give the surface of the work an irridescent quality are sometimes employed to reference ceramic preciousness."

"In the Catastasis Series, I access traditional vase forms and then reconstruct them to reference non ceramic forms, while still maintaining the integrity of the vase. The necks of the vases are divided off and twisted or braided to resemble outrageous hair styles. Sometimes these manipulations take on an erotic nature. Hair has often been associated in mythology and psychology with male virility. It is also a part of our bodies that has become obsolete in its physical usefulness (protection from the elements) and had been transformed into a symbol of cultural and sexual identity, or tool used as an erotic lure. In a very similar way, the vase form itself has been used as a symbol of culture and cultural status. The collision of these ideas has set the tone for this series. The large procelain vase forms, manipulated and reconstructed, sit on top of porcelain stands that reference the eighteenth century European ceramic wig stands, body parts or crumpled clothing. I employ decadence, sensuality, humor and flamboyance to toy with identity as well as the meaning of function."

Matt Towers