Mike Gesiakowski, St. Louis, Missouri
The materials used to create a clay body and the manipulation of a clay body’s plasticity have long been used by ceramic artists to show weathering, deterioration, and memory. For Mike Gesiakowski, this technique is well honed but comes to his pots and sculptures through the elegant and controlled hand of an artist with an touch of OCD. If one could control the weather it may look like Gesiakowski’s forms; all of a storm’s chaos boxed and buttoned up between evenly cut lines, tailored curves, and designed surfaces. Each plane of controlled chaos neighbors man-made structures emulating time-worn stained glass, antique leaded glass windows, or wrought iron gates at dusk. The contrast between these prevailing façades is nothing short of beautiful.
Gesiakowski is working with ideas of how weathered exteriors and the slow erosion our memories decline over time without notice—what once was shiny is now rough and what was remembered and now forgotten becomes obscured and often embellished through imprecise recollection.