Dance, ceramic with glaze and oil paint, 12”h x 12.5”w x 1” d, 2009.
Recently I met up with Amanda Smith and her husband Casey Jex Smith out at Guerrero Gallery, where Casey had work in the most recent show there, Weight Perception. I was delighted to get to meet them both in person. Charming as they are via email, it was nice to chat with them both. I had recently seen newer work of Amanda's at the SF Art Fair and asked if she would send over new work to post. Her candy colored ceremic pieces look like ornate cakes to me, and her newer work is dripping with adornment. What I admire most about Amanda's work is the dynamicism within each piece; her pairing of traditional craft with her many inspirations gives the viewer so much to dive into.
"My work involves fables drawn from both personal experience and observation. Through metaphor, these narratives explore questions of social hierarchies, human interactions and humans’ moral agency. The little girls that inhabit these pieces are the product of my experience growing up in a hyper-feminine household with my mother and three sisters.
My penchant for flat painting as well as the stylization of elements in my work comes from my love of historic religious narrative painting the world over, most notably Persian, Mughal and Rajasthani Indian manuscript and miniature paintings.
Painting with ceramic mediums has allowed me to make archival, singular, handmade art objects. This has become increasingly important to me as everything from communication to clothing in contemporary culture is becoming ephemeral, mass-produced and/or disposable. Additionally, ceramics offers a unique palette of surfaces and textures. I am really interested in employing traditional decorative techniques like decaling, sprigging, lustering, lace-draping and china painting. I love how these techniques offer my work a classically ceramic, candy-coated aesthetic."
I can totally relate to Amanda's mention of everything becoming disposable. I appreciate her urge to want to create something long lasting and beautiful. Which she completely captures.
The Sweetness of Folly, ceramic, glaze, oil paint and gold luster, 24”h x 18”w x 1”d, 2009.
The Sweetness of Folly, detail.
Hot Punch, 18"h x 21.5"w x 1/2"d
Oakland Temple Float, 21"h x 17" w x 1"d.
Dinner Party, 18" x 18.5" x 1"
Dinner Party, detail.