Emerging Ceramic Artist to Watch: Magdalene Gluszek, Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Feeding, 21 in. (53 cm) in length, terra cotta, felted wool, wire, polymer clay, resin, glass eyes, 2008.

Eavesdropper, 27 in. (69 cm) in length, terra cotta, fabric, wire, glue, nylon flock, lacquer, glass eyes, 2008.

Children in general are less inhibited by social and cultural constraints imposed on them later in life. Their actions are frank and more sincerely instinctual than those of adults. Adolescence is the meeting of these two worlds, where the boundaries of cultural and natural influences become blurred. I use animal features and mannerisms blended with those of humans to create hybrid forms, which illustrate this psychological state. Through the process of play and “trying things on,” my figures experiment with objects that affect their appearance and bodily movement. The decorations reference desserts in their delicately frosted, sugary surfaces. . . . They serve as a means to an end as vehicles used to create an image of desire. The figures are experimenting with different modes of self-representation. They alternate between appearing submissive and threatening. It is indistinguishable whether they make these alterations for a self-serving purpose or for the pleasure of the viewer.



This was excerpted from Ceramics Monthly magazine’s
“Emerging Artists 2009” feature, which appeared in the May 2009 issue.
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