Wednesday, March 18, 2009

New Artists this year: A.J. Argentina

I first saw A.J. Argentina's work on-line, beautiful large pieces that incorporated negative space and architectural elements, each one dominating its environment, drawing the viewer to peer closer at the lines and weight of the material. It is absolutely fascinating; his functional pottery was nothing less when I viewed it in person at OCAF's Perspectives Pottery Show in August, 2008. Macon Arts was quite pleased when he agreed to participate in Fired Works.

A.J. is an instructor and manager of Roswell Art Center West, part of the Roswell Visual Arts program. Until you get to meet him at the Fired Works Preview Party, learn more about his artistic process in the following artist statement:

A. J. Argentina
Artist Statement

As a potter, I work within a functional format and am informed by the rich history of ceramics. At its best, my work reflects upon these vast traditions and adds an interesting layer. I strive for my pieces to transcend their utilitarian boundaries and to function equally as sculptural elements. I am interested in composition, surface, and craftsmanship as well as utility, and for the combination of these elements to create a dialogue between maker, user, and object.

Form remains primary in my exploration of functional wares, but I am constantly excited about finding balance between form, function, and surface. My inquisitiveness leads each pot I make to inform the next. The new and exciting information I gain from each kiln load influences the subtle changes in the next group of wares. Even in the earliest stages of my process, both form and surface are considered. My pots, organic in form, and are contrasted with the movement of subtle lines and folds. The lines, folds and curves that compose my wares are informed by the potential surfaces that a simple pallet of slips, glazes, and soda firing can create.

Soda firing can create surfaces that are dramatic and complex, yet simple and pleasing. Working with only a few flashing slips, allows for the firing process to paint the wares with blushes of color and a variety of tactile surfaces. The volatile soda fumes accentuate edges, lines, and change in form, often giving dramatically different surfaces to each side of the wares.

The formal combination of balance, line, volume, proportion, and surface allow for an infinite number of conclusions. My goal is to find a resolution that has a strong visual presence and emotive impact on the user. In the end, whether my wares are held or is sitting on a shelf, I would like their presence to be felt.

Join us at the Fired Works Preview Party, April 17th, from 6-9 p.m. Reserve your tickets today by calling 478.743.6940.

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