Mark Tarabula

Artist Statement

My work utilizes the abstracted body to address conditions of the human form. I am interested in ideas of gender, sexuality and sensuality. I want the viewer to be immediately attracted to my forms without the realization of why. This unconscious allure to the human structure regardless of the context it is presented is within us. I strive to make a connection through an instinctual understand of these forms. As the viewer interacts with each piece, the different angles give new silhouettes of shapes that allude back to the body. My works provoke this attraction unconsciously making the viewer want to touch the figures I create. Regardless of who the form came from, there is a feeling of wanting to inspect and even fondle the work. I strive to uncover this feeling in each viewer.

I am interested in pushing my medium of ceramics. I try to utilize glazes in a different way by using them as their own element instead of a surface treatment. I use molds taken from real people that I have a personal connection with. This helps make the work unique to me. Each piece from the molds is left rough to relate to the imperfections of skin and to push the clay as a material. Clay can become anything. I think it is just as difficult to show what clay can do. The colors chosen are complementary and relate to different relationships in my life. Ultimately, the work is an allegory for human’s sexual fluidity. Each from depicts shapes and curves that are ambiguous. The viewer finds appeal regardless of the sources gender or body type.

-- Mark Tarabula


Mark Tarabula is currently finishing up his MFA in Ceramics at Edinboro University in Edinboro, PA. Before moving to Pennsylvania, He received his BFA in Ceramics from Northern Michigan University in Marquette, MI. During the years in between his degrees, he was a resident artist in several places including The Ceramic Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Gallery-One in Ellensburg, Washington and with Justin Rothshank in Goshen, Indiana.

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