I've long taken inspiration from the Dutch/Flemish tradition of Vanitas still life painting in which the notion of futility is key. I look to translate that futility into an artistic gesture by rendering what is representational and static in the fluid medium of glaze, knowing that what is painstakingly depicted will change beyond my control once fired. My process captures a fleeting moment reminiscent of the temporal nature of life. In the Vanitas tradition, the flower serves as an observable metaphor for human life and death. My vases are intended for use. Conceptually, by placing flowers in one, the metaphor is realized through vitality and inevitable decay. In form, my work is a synthesis of craft and painting. Although many have painted on pottery through the ages, I have cultivated a new technique where glaze is the primary medium. Reactions between glaze and the clay body allow me to achieve values of shading similar to that of the Old Masters paintings. Invoking impermanence in the enduring medium of ceramic becomes a hopeful act, and in some small way, futility gives way to optimism.
About The Gallery
JONATHAN FERRARA GALLERY is a collective environment of creative visions featuring monthly exhibitions of (inter)national, emerging to established, contemporary artists.