Nikki Blair

Artist Statement

My work harks back to the shiny bright futurism of post WWII architecture and product design. That period’s most forward thinking designers created a world full of fantastical curves, extravagant rooflines, beautiful colors, and innovative materials. Plastics, glass, neon employed in both kitsch and high art became integral to the design language of America in particular, but resonated internationally and are still admired today.

With that undercurrent, I have returned to exploring pure design elements —line, form, color-- in the guise of the vessel. These pieces are functional in theory, but what someone would put in them is another question entirely and that is an interesting question to me. The forms are off-kilter, constructed from slabs that are patchworked together. They rest, albeit a bit sullenly, on display surfaces. The pieces “sit” in ways that are gestural and suggestive. They are vaguely inflated or deflated. They have bodily qualities that refer back to my earlier work, much of which alluded to medical or sexual devices. In their pure formalism though, they are much slyer. I strive to seduce the viewer with their attractiveness, and then, upon closer study, reveal sophisticated awkwardnesses. They are pieces of baggage. Containers for flowers. Perhaps these are forms in which to temporarily put our psychological burdens while we enjoy looking at them.