Bloody porcelain

Posted in caught by juliobesq on May 28, 2011

Haunt (Shary Boyle) | Unknown (Dr Lakra) | Rosamund (Jessica Harrison)

I keep noticing artists subverting porcelain figures. When flirting with kitsch there’s an inherent danger of not gaining enough momentum to escape it’s orbit. Jeff Koons with his high aesthetic has consistently successfully played off against tack, and may have kick-started the meme with his 1998 “Michael Jackson and Bubbles”. There is something inherently naff about the figurine, their inception as table settings has kept them seen as decorations, no matter what price they reach at auction. Which may explain why although they are executed with the precision and flair of a professional sculptor, they remain anonymous, known only by manufacturer.


Come on you lightweight down it (Barnaby Barford) | Michael Jackson and Bubbles (Jeff Koons)

The required level of skill in the time consuming process of production means rather than being a novelty involving zombies, the intention is to reflect the concerns of popular culture. Much like the flower sellers and skater of the 18th century. The inclusion of ASBO silhouettes in the toile wallpaper of Timorous Beasties gives it a knowing irony, but being a commercial product stops short of making social comment. The history and medium of porcelain figurines is ripe for satirising corporate consumerism and entertainments flirting with sex and death.

Jessica Harrison – Breaking
Shary Boyle
Barnaby Barford – Private Lives

On a side note the fake wallpaper of “New American Toile series” by Laurel Garcia Colvin is worth a look.

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