(American, born 1978)
glazed stoneware, 9 elements, smallest 12 x 13 1/2 x 13 1/2; largest 12 x 20 3/4 x 14 inches
Artwork courtesy of the Artist
Matthias Merkel Hess finds his subject matter in common utilitarian objects that we often take for granted. In particular, he focuses his attention on the mass produced plastic goods that define our contemporary culture. Using the natural material of clay, Hess crafts handmade replicas of trash cans, paint buckets, milk crates, and other mundane plastic objects, creating sculptures that transcend their original function. Through this material transformation, his modern containers take their place within a long and ancient tradition of ceramic vessel making. Adorned with colorful and exotic glazes, his crates become objects of aesthetic contemplation rather than practical use, inviting us to reconsider the environmental impact of the many things we manufacture and consume.
I make objects, sometimes big, physical things, so I’m trying to understand both my own interest in objects and how we value them as humans.
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