Living with Clay Gallery Review

                                                Collecting a Collection

            The introductory paragraph that welcomed the gallery visitor to the entrance immediately told a story about a direct correlation to the human being and the art world. It was in my fascination of the gallery of the philosophy behind the obsession of the collectors and the artwork that was something so private yet open and inviting. Honestly, in my opinion it had been one of the best art shows that I have ever been too in Orange County. Getting a tour by Mr. Lopez made the exhibition special. There was honesty through the eyes of the curator that his show came from the heart. The special details, care to the gallery, enthusiasm, and wisdom was apparent of Rudy Lopez. The talent that Lopez had was to give life to the show. There was an energy that I felt ran though the rooms, not by the objects but by the people involved with the creations and their creators. Everything had a detailed story that seemed fascinating to everyone who had listened. The design was coherent and clear by the path the gallery lead. The viewer was able to see in order to make that special correlation to the gallery and what it was meant to convey.                                                    

Culture in itself is very representative of the history of mankind. The way Lopez showed the visitors this special exhibit was by the variety of culture, history, worth, value, delicacy, and harshness to each object on display. Ceramics being delicate creations controlled the way a viewer can look at the art. Someone who is oblivious to the process of how a simple clay pot is made was briefly explained by Mr. Lopez, in which he pointed out an intricate large piece by Hector Javier Martinez Mendez titled The Artists of Mexico. It showed the culture of the Mexican peoples and the curator explained how it was his favorite piece by pointing out the intricate Dia de los Muertos etched carvings on the pot.

            I was intrigued the first minute I walked in and saw to my right the gift made for the curator who congratulated him in his exhibit. The simple gesture of a gift coming from a fine artist seemed impressive. Patti Warshina’s Bottom Feeder caught my eye and interested me in its style and purpose. The anatomy of the figure seemed odd yet compelling with its delicate hands and feet. Calling the eyes to such a distinctive space of the gallery gave almost an introduction to the viewer and created a flow with special indicators on where to look next. It was hard to avoid staring at the large photographs on the wall in which Rudy Lopez had explained where the actual living quarters. These habitations were of the collectors and designed the space as it seemed to be theirs. For an example, the collectors living room was photographed above and directly below was furniture from that room along with the same sculptures or ceramic pieces they contained. In the presentation that Lopez gave us was an unknown fact about ceramics and dating them if they were real. He explained by wetting the bottom of the piece would give off a distinct scent or smell of the earth. This fact was fun and interesting.

            The connection of the clay to the earth made the important connection to the early Mesoamerican art displayed towards the end. It seemed as though the curator saved the best for last by displaying the history of ceramic art. This was a great contrast to traditional gallery designs that start with the history or beginning displayed first. Rather in this exhibition, the beginning to the art was displayed last so the viewer could be reminded of the roots and the connection the artist had with the earth and creation. His gallery gave his favorite form of art a voice and distinct connection to the artist with the history of the artistry.

            The gallery itself welcomed viewers with its vibrant palette. The designers had great choices for the all space in respect to the principles of design. The shape of the gallery as he mentioned was custom made by including by specially constructed special walls. There was visual balance within the colors of the gallery itself, such as the classic white tone to respect the historic side of the exhibition so the work stood out on its own. Vibrant turquoise and lime green walls were perfect for the eccentricity of the work. There were some hot pink walls to the pastel pieces and yellow walls to match the actual interior of the collector’s home. These colors gave the exhibit balance and visual rhythm direction. There was talent to the curation of the displays by giving worship to the work. In which, made something inanimate almost come alive by a simple idea conveyed. This idea came to mind when mentioning Robert Chang’s Seated Nude. Rudy mentioned that she needed a space of her own not only for visual focus but to give the eye a break from everything else so that the mind could wander once more in the chaos of analyzing the creations in the exhibition. The highlight of the show for me was to see the working space of a recluse and the life shared in the Maw Collection of pre-Columbian art. Rudy should be praised in his interpersonal skills and relationship he grew over the years. It’s an accomplishment to keep in close relations with the collectors to earn the trust to their valuables.

            I would recommend everyone and everyone to go to the exhibition. In all honesty, I wasn’t educated enough to make a fair judgement in the beginning to go. I thought it would be boring and redundant because clay sounded monotone and lifeless with no forms. I thought I was going to see a bunch of plates and teacups. Instead, I walked into a new look into the world of ceramics and fell in love with its all its oddities and unique forms. Truly this exhibition was in showing the exact reason why collectors would collect this form of art. The same way as described in the beginning of the gallery of how even the smartest crows collect shiny objects as a survival mechanism and for admiration. The utilization for these clay objects not only helped us to the development and sustainability to man, but for a collector to collect a collection of unique objects.