Vasefinder International 2011
Exhibitor 64

Jonathan Kaplan

Denver, Colorado, USA

Title: Nouveau Moche-Kitsch Bird (deconstructed)

Year of Creation: 2010

Glaze: Cone 6 sprayed lithium base glazes

Clay Body: Slipcast cone 6 white ware

Dimensions: Height 17 inches, Width 7 inches

Artist's Statement: The context for this work is the Moche culture from the Northwest coast of Peru that flourished between 600 CE to 1000 CE. (dates approximate) ceramics produced by the Moche peoples was highly evolved with women being the potters and of course, the men being the hunter-gatherers. The work was all hand-built using bisque molds although there are some references that show these pieces being also slip cast. The stirrup spout, or what appears as a donut with an appendage, function both as a decorative as well as function element a spout and handle. Much of their work was highly erotic, although to only reference this work does the Moche culture a disservice. Their pottery making activities were quite involved with all aspects of daily life and all activities, including sex were well documented. Their clay modeling of the human form was quite exaggerated at times very humorous. They also used animal forms quite extensively such as birds and the large cats such as Jaguars. Most all work included a stirrup spout.

My interest in this work stems from exposure many years ago in undergraduate school. I was fortunate to be able to research the erotic ware in depth for an art history requirement in graduate school. This led me to The Institute for Sex Research in Bloomington, Indiana which has a rather extensive collection of Moche erotic ware.

These pieces work with the stirrup spout as that cultural reference. The fish and the bird have again returned from the Plinthed Vessel Series of 2008. Bringing work into the 21st Century uses all three of these elements placed again on ceramic bases or plinths. All these forms are slip cast from models and molds that I make, with the exception of the bird and the fish. They were found at a local hobby shop and adapted for my particular use. Nouveaux Moche-Ware, or New Moche-Ware is a reinterpretation of iconic work in the history of World Ceramics referencing both figurative and cultural elements. They have been fired at cone 6/7, approximately 200 degrees F in an electric kiln.

To review detail photograph, click here.
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