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Artist Portfolios

 

JESSE SMALL

I grew up in Los Angeles, California.  My interest in local politics and environmental activism kept me busy with organizations like the California Boy’s State program, Kid’s City, and the Student Conservation Association.  At the same time, I was developing into a visual artist, without emphasis on either commercial or fine art in particular.  In 1992-1997 I pursued my BFA at the Kansas City Art Institute, and graduated with a dual major in Sculpture and Ceramics. Upon completion of my MFA in 2005 with a dual Sculpture and Ceramics emphasis, I attended the Jingdezhen PWS Experimental Factory residence in Jingdezhen, China.  Attending a second residence program in Shenzhen at the First Art Bank extended my first work period in China to 1 year.   


Working in China expanded my awareness of how artwork can function, and dysfunction, as a link between language and cultural zones, i.e. the East and West.  This use of art as a linkage is more nuts and bolts than artistic “expression.”  The artwork is formed out of a need to communicate with situations that are mostly mysterious, and common cultural infrastructure is not present.  Nothing can be assumed. I have a studio in Jingdezhen and Shenzhen, China, and in Kansas City, USA.  I am very curious about the global migration of ornamental styles throughout history, leading right up to the present time.  Inter-cultural influences can be learned from studying historical trade routes, on which decorative styles migrate the Earth like immortal flocks of birds, sneaking under the barriers of culture, language, and tradition without rest or singular plan.  And now, what is a trade route?  It’s not necessarily a physical thing anymore.    


Ornament travels covertly, because it seems like mundane nonsense.  Yet in its original cultural context, the Ornament was representing something rich and essential.  Ornament is put to use without regard to the intentions of its inventor, and different styles are mixed together in great ignorance.  Ornamentation that was once a discreet symbol of a specific plant with specific cultural meanings, such as the Greek Acanthus vine, becomes “something nice and flowery for the wallpaper over the fridge.”  Trade route dynamics obliterate symbolism, and in so doing, reveal the inner mechanisms of meaning. Decorative styles have been “sampled” and “remixed” for thousands of years, completely obliterating clear authorship.  This has led to our confusing, layered, pluralist, mostly boring visual environment.  Awareness of this process is very important to me, as I am reversing the flow of Ornament, finding that singular author within myself, within the cacophony.  I argue that two or more old things mixed together doesn’t create something new.

Currently I am developing Public Art for several municipalities in the US, as well as numerous private commissions.  This year I am designing Public Art for two property developments in Shenzhen, China, as well.  I have recent exhibits in Kuwait, New York City, Kansas City, Des Moines, Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, and Vallauris, France.

ARTIST RESUME 

INTERVIEW WITH JIM DUNCAN                                                        

AVAILABLE WORKS ON MOBERG EDITIONS

 
 

"Leap of Faith"

Commissioned Installation

West Des Moines, IA

 

   

"Leap of Faith"

Commissioned Installation

West Des Moines, IA

 

 

"Leap of Faith"

Commissioned Installation

West Des Moines, IA

   

Commissioned Installation

private residence

 

Commissioned Installation

private residence

   

 

Commissioned Installation

Marshalltown, IA - Public Library

 

Commissioned Installation

Marshalltown, IA - Public Library

 

   

 

Commissioned Installation

Marshalltown, IA - Public Library

 

Commissioned Installation

Marshalltown, IA - Public Library

 

   

 

"Auroras Arbor"

Commissioned installation

 

 

 

 

"Auroras Arbor"

Commissioned installation

   

 

"Auroras Arbor"

Commissioned installation

 

 

 

 

"Auroras Arbor"

Commissioned installation

   

Commissioned Installation

private residence

 

Commissioned Installation

private residence

   

 

R9

porcelain on steel base

 

 

R4

porcelain on steel base

 

   

 

R5

porcelain on steel base

 

 

R10

porcelain on steel base

 

   

 

Untitled (deer skull)

porcelain, unique

 

 

Ghost

porcelain

 

   

porcelain with mixed media

 

 

 

porcelain with mixed media

 

   

Gallery Installation

call for availability

 

   

Gallery Installation

call for availability

 

 

Gallery Installation

call for availability

   

Gallery Installation

call for availability

 

 

Gallery Installation

call for availability

 

Gallery Installation

call for availability

 

 

Gallery Installation

available

   

"Sputnik"

Steel plate and porcelain

4.3' x 8' x 8'

 

"Camelot Hedge"

 

 

"Into Copious"

Steel plat4e

7.5' x 14' x 2'

"Into Copious" detail

 

 

"Shark Mouth"

"Shark Mouth"

Close Up

 

"Super Cuts"

Painted steel plate

5.5' x 4' x 4'

 

"Lantern Transmission"

Steel plate

12' x 6' x 6'

 

 

"Flat Artemis"

"Flat Artemis" detail

Steel Plate

6.5' x 16' x 2'

 

   

 

   

 

   

 

   

 

   

 

   
 

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