My current body of work, Story Keepers, is a collection of coil-built, mythical, phallic, rabbit-like creatures that come from the depths of my subconscious. They invite me to reflect upon what I have experienced as a gay Mexican ceramic artist; explorations of sexuality, desire, suicide, alienation, depression and compassion. I choose to work with clay because of the direct connection to the actions of touching and transforming.
My work is influenced by my curiosity in spiritual practices from some Hispanic cultures where they call upon the energy of animal totems for help, and by my fascination with fairy tales and ancient mythologies from different cultures. My rabbit creatures are totems conjured to help in my self-awareness journey, and the viewer’s if allowed. They provide an invitation to stop, view, and gather information.
-- Jose Arenivar-Gomez
Jose Arenivar-Gomez is a Mexican ceramics artist and educator based in Metro Detroit. He was born and raised in Chihuahua, Mexico and immigrated with his family to the Las Cruces, NM in 2007 so that he could pursue higher education at New Mexico State University. Jose received his BFA in Drawing and Ceramics NMSU in 2015 and his MFA in Ceramics from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2018. His work has been shown nationally in venues like the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, David Salkin Creative and Cranbrook Art Museum. He currently works as a Glaze Technician at Pewabic Pottery and as an Adjunct Professor at Wayne State University.