Marine Venus, after Ricci
2018, glazed ceramic, copper, wood, 39 x 11 x 10 in
Nereids, after Boucher
2018, glazed ceramic, copper, wood, 35 x 11 x 10 in
Nereids, after Boucher and Marine Venus, after Ricci explore the sensuality of the figure in erotic mythological scenes painted during the 1700s. I am interested in reinterpreting the significance of these forms through dimensionality, material transformation, and fragmentation. The shape, texture, and color of these sculptures allude to stone, coral, and scholar’s rocks, as if the figures are worn and hollowed by weather and erosion, breaking down to merge with the landscape. They appear broken and precious, cherished and abandoned, their incomplete state inviting the viewer into a space of erotic longing. I am intrigued by how cultural paradigms from one part of the world came to define another part of the world 10,000 miles away. Early European encounters in Polynesia were allegorical encounters: Tahiti was interpreted through the past and the present, through classical myth and its rococo expression. Louis-Antoine de Bougainville – the first from France to circumnavigate the world – named Tahiti “La Nouvelle Cythère” and described what he saw as “worthy of Boucher’s brush.” The work of the erotic imagination produced enduring ideas of a Pacific paradise.