Peter Olson's Ceramic Art

Decent Essays
It is not unusual for ceramicists to employ photography as a means of documenting their works, yet Philadelphia-based artist Peter Olson’s method of incorporating these two media on his exquisite clay creations is arguably previously unseen. In each of his work, the artist cleverly unfolds a pleasant surprise. As the audience closely examines Olson’s signature kaleidoscopic surface decoration which bears a resemblance to motifs found on Islamic artifacts and Greek vessels, images of modern streets and people appear where floral design and mythological beings are expected to be. Photo Ceramica is a refreshing meld of photography and ceramic art; the works showcased in the show represent nothing less than the best of both worlds. More than 40 pieces, including bowls, marionettes, tiles, and large urns takes over the 3,200 square feet gallery space at The American Museum of Ceramic Art (AMOCA). Assisting them is a long wall of photos originally taken by Olsen to be used as design elements. The exhibit plan is resolved so that visitors have a chance to visually experience the production of the artist’s works from the very beginning. Olson’s process begins with printing and cutting out individual subjects from his…show more content…
The content of these images varies, from random street lamp and bridge detail to shots of events that induce powerful narratives and emotions. For instance, a large urn titled “New York City #31” features a number of iconic sceneries of the cosmopolitan New York City. Anyone familiar with the city could easily recognize different corners of Time Square, Grand Central station, and the NYC skyline view from Brooklyn as they explore the elaborate decorative bands. The negative space between the prints and their photographic characteristics visually alter the shape of the vessels and bowls, giving them depth, texture and enhance their sculptural
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