Valerie Hegarty
Warped Clipper Ship
2016
Glazed Ceramics
14"h x 18"w x 3.5"d
American Berserk
Burning in Water gallery
317 10th Avenue, NY, NY
October 6th-January 7, 2016

Artforum Critic Pick

Warped Clipper Ship is a new work in ceramics that continues my interest with appropriating iconic paintings and images from American History, in this case the clipper ship, and altering the work in a way that relates to its content, in this case, crumpling the image. The image itself references an early American painting of a clipper ship plowing ahead at full speed in an optimistic expression of technology, innovation, and nationalism. The crumpling of the work refers to the gesture of the artist that has made a failed image, to crumple it and throw it away. The rendering of the image and crumpling in ceramic concretizes the moment of recognition of failure and alludes to the repressed histories of clipper ships and colonialism including Orientalism, opium dens, pirates and slave trade. The wavy undulations of the ceramic form also make the image of the clipper ship appear to be underwater with its resultant distortions, as if the viewer is regarding a sunken history.
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