Gerit Grimm

Artist Statement

The central idea for my artwork is to transgress the boundaries of folk art and fine art by means of the following method: appropriate historically significant folk art and theatrical genres and interpret them through visual idioms of contemporary sculpture. My work appropriates historical narrative subjects deriving from fables, myths and interprets them in forms that have visual and conceptual affinities with contemporary fine art—affinities that allow me to further explore and question the boundaries between pop art, kitsch and high art. This new direction of my work would be a hybrid between ceramics and these traditions within contemporary sculpture. By risking technical failure in the process of creating the forms, I am able to attain a complexity, dynamism, and litheness of form. The technical risks are a corollary to another type of risk—one that reinterprets a folk figurine tradition and pushes it to its limits. My reinterpretation of this tradition combines both narrative and form—synthesizing pots with fairytales in a way that tests the boundaries of each. The result is often an uncanny union—one that evokes all manner of stories about dolls, puppets and statues coming to life. It is a union at once wonderful, elegant and fanciful but also at times uncomfortable and awkward.

The increase in scale highlight the sculptural forms of my ceramic figures. To date, I have been quite successful in building life-size and larger-than-life ceramic with some exceptions. I use reduction kiln-firing techniques to produce a highly austere (a subtle metallic sheen or bronze- looking) surface, which leads to the stone-like appearance of my work. This surface reinforces its sculptural qualities and conveys an appearance of moments frozen in stone and in time.

-- Gerit Grimm