extra credit Visiting Artist:)

Matt Wedel Visiting Artist

As part of Colorado University’s Visiting Artist Lecture Series, Matt Wedel presented his work as a ceramicist. Even though Mr. Wedel literally grew up in the ceramics studio because of his father’s work, he didn’t have a desire to work with ceramics himself. I wonder if this had to do with type of ceramics that he was surrounded with in his dad’s studio. From the pictures he shared his father work looked very linear, precise, and typical in the forms of cups and bowls, compared to the current work that Matt is creating.

During his early undergraduate he made a shift, deciding that ceramics is infect his favorite medium  due to its “fluidity”. I don’t see ceramics as fluid even in the wet state because of all of the difficult work that goes into making clay. Then ceramics are delicate and rigid once they are fired. However Mr. Wedel has a way with his figures that makes me believe they are in fact fluid. He pushes his work to a massive scale, and I am mystified about how he creates ceramic figures that are as enormous as they are fanciful. It really takes bravery to push ceramics to such a scale and make these impossible, imaginative forms. I was even more impressed that he insists on working alone and even invented a make-shift lever pulley system to move his work around that is exponentially bigger and heavier than himself. He does this to avoid awkward moments of telling a guilt striken friend not to worry if something goes wrong. As his work progresses he needs more people to help, but his preference as an artist is to work alone, which I can relate to in my own work.

Matt Wedel’s artistic style is truly unique and he has a visionary understanding of clay. My question to him is, “What do you see your work becoming in the future”. I noticed a massive transition between his early and recent work and I wonder if there will be another phase soon. My suggestion to him is, “Maybe try making characters that are totally different from one another”.  Also, he spoke about struggling with his drawings and I things the difficulties are within how “realistic” he is trying to become. I think he would have an easier time and create more interesting drawings if he freed himself with more color and abstraction.  Although fanciful and dreamlike, I think it would be interesting to see his work change by making a new creature or plant-life for every project. In addition to this he has some pieces that don’t fit with his imaginative work. They are replications from history and I think he should stick to the mythology in his mind. Overall, his body of work is interesting and his presentation inspired me to think about my own imagination and feel okay with wanting to work alone in my art.

One Response

  1. I thought your insights on Matt Wedel were spot on! I went to this lecture as well. I thought he was inspirational in that I am not comfortable with ceramics, but I feel like after viewing works, ideas and process, experimenting, messing up, and imperfection are okay.

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