Mitch Shiles

Artist Statement

My work often starts with a question about an object or idea that once was embedded within my intuition, or that I looked upon with a manner of certainty. A certainty that came from an aesthetic idea, an ethical standing, or an assumption of correctness. Why ordain certain materials with value while discarding things that have gone the way of entropy? Why greet certain behaviors and objects with trust while others with suspicion? Why does my perception of time with an object affect my perception of merit for the same object. Why do I allow myself to be deluded by objects and materials bearing only facades. I feel that these questions relate not only to my relationship with inanimate objects but with other human beings.

These questions become transmuted into something expressible, a tangible object, an image, a noise, or action. Objects inspired by a culmination of artifacts from current, past, and future cultures. Juxtaposition, the removal of function, and the insertion of futility & ambiguity are all tools I use to bring my art to the viewer. Often they add a harmony to a piece but most importantly they can confound. To me, bringing frustration to a piece is paramount to giving it longevity like an annoying song stuck in your head or an idea that constantly has you asking why?

-- Mitch Shiles


Mitch Shiles is a contemporary Ceramist and Sculptor. He earned his MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics, and has exhibited nationally. His work involves a multitude of materials merged through computer aided methods and ancient craft techniques.

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