Justin Donofrio, Fort Collins, Colorado
Repetitively layering slab strips and flattened coils to create volumetric forms allows Justin Donofrio’s finished vessels to record and then remind the user of the process. Conveying the potential characteristics of clay and an active sense of human touch are at the forefront with his work. The alpine landscape, both the physical mass of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains where Donofrio lives, as well as the colors found in that environment play a part in the work as well. The many layers echo stratified rock or meandering river beds. The colors of his clay bodies are artificial versions of the colors he sees in the landscape around him.
The pieces draw the viewer in due to their fluidity of form and the expressive line quality created by the meandering seams between the joined slabs. The emphasis on process, and the artificially saturated yet alluring colors reference a mediated environment, a mix of the natural and the manmade.
Donofrio’s handling of the clay is sophisticatedly loose; he anticipates its behavior and foregrounds its malleability and ability to record expressive touch and movement, taking advantage of its potential.