We’re excited that Johan Creten will be having a major show at Galerie Perrotin in New York City. Hopefully God is a Stranger (Sept. 9 – Oct. 31, 2015) will further add to New York’s distinction as a hotbed for ceramic art.
Above image: Johan Creten, Fireworks— The Red Flares, 2014-2015, gold luster on glazed stoneware and aluminium structure, 41 1/4 x 30 1/4 x 7 3/4 inches. Photograph courtesy of the artist and Galerie Perrotin.
Some of Creten’s abstract sculptures adorned with multiple ceramic vulvas will be on display (if the series title for these works, New York Beauty, is any indication). The works are notable for their one-two punch, tackling sexuality and Creten’s extraordinary ceramic facility. Beautiful Decay:writes of the pungent directness of work coming in
“His signature are large scaled bodies covered with glazed vulvas with which he approaches themes like the ambiguity of sexuality, solitude as a threat and the injustice of social status. The fact that he was able to live with the harshness of his peers ignoring his work as art is a resistantce which makes him proud. He uses this relationship to balance his art. His pieces reflect our roots in today’s world but they are facing the future.”
Perrotin quotes Ludovic Recchia regarding one body of work, Creten’s Odore di Femmina series:
“Belgian artist Marcel Broodthaers’ paintings of mussel shells led Johan Creten towards his “Odore di Femmina” series. Not only are “mould” and “mussel” homophonous in French, but “moule” also means “cunt”, and when Broodthaers referenced Belgium’s favorite shellfish, he also evoked the female sex organ, the origin of the world.
“The “Odore di Femmina” are either reliefs, either classical female busts with a pastillage of rose petals, fruits or seaweed instead of mussels. All kinds of metonymies come subtly into play, so as to evoke the woman through her perfume, the perfume through the flower and, lastly, the sex through the thousands of vulvar excrescences enshrouding her body. These female sandstone busts are reminiscent of antique Venus Anadyomene (“Venus rising from the sea”), with measurements corresponding to Hellenistic models.”
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