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Kuraoka Says to Know: Peter Voulkos

Peter Voulkos is said to be the father of contemporary ceramics. And I appreciate his contribution, trust me. Without Voulkos and his immediate followers, I wouldn't be where I was today, sculpting from clay and using the medium so freely. You see, until Voulkos came along artists used ceramics for two things: pottery and idols, or figurines. The medium was not used to express the human condition the way painters used paint or sculptors used bronze. One used clay to make artifacts not fine art... that is, until Voulkos threw tradition to the wayside and began creating wildly expressive sculpture with the medium. Now, I have to be honest. I hate the work of Voulkos. I think it's ugly and stodgy and lackluster. But, ironically, it is because Voulkos made his work that I am free to hate it and free to make my own work. So I am presenting him on this blog. Because without him, I also would not be writing (Mud)Bucket.

(images via the Frank Lloyd Wright Gallery)

1 comment:

trixy650 said...

I have to disagree, and say that Voulkos's work seems inspiring. I do agree that his work is somewhat ugly, stiff, and some of is most famous pieces look like he put little effort into the actual design; however by looking at his work I can see what his (in my opinion) lacks. I can then visualize an entirely new work of art that incorperates some of his visual effects. Like the apperance of randomly placed slabs of clay. Which is the one thing that allows me to like his work, the fact that his art has a seemingly random layout.

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