Unique, bold, and somehow familiar, this striking fine art sculpture is reminiscent of a geological phenomenon.
The title is flexible. Perhaps, given the fact the piece is comprised of reclaimed ceramic materials, it represents a commentary reflecting man and waste. If that is the case, optimism can be recognized in its message. Beauty is assigned to what would have otherwise been thrown away.
It's likely, though, that the layered effect is meant to mimic shoreline imagery associated with nature in the state of Maine. To achieve this result, various clay bodies and glazes were packed with paper, which burned away when the sculpture was fired in a kiln.
The center of this piece exhibits a highly textured and sharp cluster of material, which is similar to the effect of another series completed by the artist called "Midden Series." Shell middens, which are old refuse piles of discarded mollusk shells, are found all over the world in coastal zones. There are examples of such archaeological features in the artist's home region of Midcoast Maine.
Whatever the true message of this art may be, it is up to the beholder to interpret it. Depending on light or mood, one's point of view may change as the eye wanders examining each crag and drip.
- Measures 12" x 13" x 3"- Landfill Series 2012
Jonathan Mess allows his art to be driven by instinct and experimentation. The freedom in his process unifies his various series, which are ambitious and often fall under the category of Environmental Art.
Using reclaimed materials and unconventional techniques, his style is his own. Mess has an MFA in Ceramics from The State University of New York at New Paltz and a BFA in Studio Art at University of Montana – Missoula University of Toledo, Ohio Fine Arts Program.
The artist's solo exhibitions and awards date back to 1998. However, most recently, Mess was awarded the Individual Artist Fellowship in Contemporary Craft from the Maine Arts Commission in 2015 and has participated in juried exhibitions in the China, Great Britain, and the United States.
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