When I started trying to promote my own artwork online I kept coming across other people's art that amazed or compelled me in one way or another. This blog has been a way for me to practice thinking and writing about art, as well as learning more about my peers and all the incredible art that is being made out there.

Search for an Artist on this blog (or cut and paste from the list at the bottom of this page)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Beth Cavener Stichter

"Tangled Up in You" with Allasandro Gallo

"Tangled Up in You"

"Tangled Up in You" detail

"The Adoration (from Van Eyck)"  Stoneware based mixed media sculpture
168 x 36 x 16 inches

"The Adoration (from Van Eyck)"  detail

"The White Hind (The Bride)"  Stoneware based mixed media sculpture
68 x 50 x 18 inches

"The White Hind (The Bride)"  detail

"The White Hind (The Bride)"  detail

"L'Amante"  Stoneware with Ceramic Glaze
45 x 60 x 44 inches

I've included a lot more images in this post than usual because the detail shots really matter. Everything about Beth Cavener Stichter's work is exquisite, from the concepts to the energetic grace of her compositions. The deft gestural surfaces of her work demonstrate the fluid grace of her hands at work and echo the fluid grace of her animals. But of course there is a tension in that grace as well. It requires the muscular tension of a dancer in peak physical condition to make dramatic motion look effortless. But it's not just physical tension that I'm talking about here. There is a psychological tension. Because her animals are not just animals. They are us. They remind us that we are animals and that more than 90% of what we do and how we act, our obsessions, our fears, desires and weaknesses, are not controlled by conscious thought, but are governed by millions of years of evolution. We are at the mercy of the animal within and no matter how much we may try to dress it up in the veneers of civilization we betray our origins every moment of every day with a tilt of the head, a gesture of the hand or a subtle shift of the eyes. And yet we seem to live in denial of all of this. Perhaps we must deny it. Perhaps the animal within requires us to constrain it with our rational cages (though it can and does escape whenever it really wants). The tension between out instinctive selves and our self-conscious selves and how it plays out in complex human behavior is the subject of her work. Though it can sometimes be grotesque or sorrowful, lonesome or bitter, it always moving, and it is always beautiful, because it is life.

You can see more of her work at her website: www.followtheblackrabbit.com
Or at Claire Oliver in New York City

"Tangled Up in You" was done in collaboration with Allasandro Gallo and was featured recently in High Fructose where you can see more detailed images of it including the process of its creation.

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