My practice is fundamentally rooted in an embrace of the unknown and reflection on transformation, using alchemic forms and surfaces to emphasize the shared materiality of our bodies, the earth and cosmos. These works shape-shift, oscillating between abstraction, flora, fauna and mineral. This has the effect of compressing time, with elements frozen in mid-transformation. This dislocation reflects on mortality and ephemerality, creating opportunities to psychically time travel to connect with eternities future and past.
Working with the ceramic material is in itself deeply meaningful as it offers direct engagement with the physicality of the earth. Each object experiences a significant metamorphosis through labored and precarious construction followed by numerous firings with rapid rates of expansion and contraction involving weighty and explosive glazes. My drips are sculpted with extreme control, while glaze is applied in thick and uneven layers, allowing the materials to inject their own intrinsic response to the processes. This allows my relationship to the material be one of collaboration, where I see just how far I can push the material before it collapses, serving as a direct metaphor for our own minds and bodies which eventually fracture and give way under extreme stress.
Surfaces are often coated in precious metals such as gold and platinum, materials that are naturally occurring both on earth and in space. This luminous and reflective surface is often paired with black flock or textural glazes, creating tension between the reflection and absorption of light. There is a dissonance between these surfaces, highlighting the tension and difficulty inherent in balancing lives full of love and loss, health and illness, control and powerlessness.
References to the cosmos additionally address experiences of otherness and offer an embrace of escapism, allowing the opportunity to be transported and envision a present and future outside of one’s overwhelming earthly existence. Recently this has been focused on the idea of the portal, a visualization of a point of transformation that once you pass through, you cannot return the same.
Sasha Koozel Reibstein (b. Boston, MA) is a mixed media artist living in San Diego, California. Her work reflects on transformation, mortality and the sublime through sculptures that are other-worldly, evocative of the cosmos as a way to confront the unknown and embrace the vastness of the larger universe. While primarly sculpting out of clay, Reibstein’s experimentation and broad use of material, ranging from 22k gold to cosmetic glitter, allow her to create objects that are alchemic, acting as vehicles for psychic teleportation.
Reibstein has traveled extensively, working and exhibiting in Germany, Denmark, Hungary and China. Her work has been included in over 80 national and international exhibitions including at The Zentrum fur Keramik in Berlin, Germany, Guldagergaard in Skaelskor, Denmark, NY Arts Magazine and ArtSpace 1 in Beijing, China, Couturier Gallery in Los Angeles, CA, Maytens Projects in Toronto, Canada, Quint Gallery in La Jolla, CA, The Morris Graves Museum in Eureka, CA, The Attelboro Museum in Attelboro, MA, The Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT, The American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona, CA, The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the San Diego International Airport and The International Mingei Museum. Press includes HereIn Journal, Maake Magazine, Art Ltd, Ceramics: Art and Perception, Ceramics Monthly, the San Diego Union Tribune, Glasstire, Simayspace and NY Arts Magazine, among others. She was granted an International Resident Artist Award from NCECA and has participated in numerous residencies nationally and abroad, including currently as a Resident Artist at the Center for Contemporary Ceramics at CSULB.