Exhibition Dates: June 20 - July 26 2020
watch an interview with the artists here
Samara Contemporary is pleased to announce Delicious Embrace, an exhibition of ceramic sculptures by Kris Aaron and Andy Walker of Pansy Ass Ceramics. Their cheeky sculptures present contemporary situations through traditional mediums, juxtaposing kitsch ceramics with naughty references and slang. Using the delicate and innocent associations of pastel colours and porcelain, Kris and Andy subvert expectations in playful depictions of queer sexuality.
Pansy Ass Ceramics explores gay male identity and culture through the medium of porcelain and the act of ornamentation, the sculptures are predominantly slip-cast porcelain, combined with hand built elements. Kris and Andy describe ceramics as “an exciting medium to explore sexuality. The material itself is very sensual, you have to get it wet and touch it just the right spot to get it to react the way you want it to. It goes through a prolonged series of intense heating up and cooling down sessions to reach its final form. Historically it plays an important role in the camp aesthetic, decorative arts and domestic identity. For Delicious Embrace we have put together a collection of works that reflect how we play with these histories and penetrate them with gay male sexuality and desire. We try to take elements from kitsch and rococo ceramic style and apply them to explicit forms of gay male sexuality and culture.”
The ornamental flourishes in pastel and gold of Kris and Andy’s ceramics are reminiscent of the rococo period, using pastels, pleasure and delicacy to portray sensuous and intimate scenes. Juxtaposed with fetish wear like the leather harness, the innocent and harmlessly ornamental becomes subversive. Many of Pansy Ass Ceramics’ works reference 1980’s porcelain figurines. The saccharine themes are repurposed to exuberantly depict queer identities. “We are currently working on pieces that are inspired by the aesthetics of mid-century kitsch as well as 18 th century rococo porcelain when ceramics began to emerge as a fetishized commodity, playing an important role in the production of domestic life. We are working with elements from these styles to carry forward our mission for queer visibility, and emphasizing the importance of creating spaces that reflect alternative desires, fetishes and identities.”
Through playfulness and humour, the combination of fetish and sexuality subvert expectations. A ceramic sculpture, reminiscent of the dolls and figurines of childhood takes a nude on his cellphone or waters his houseplants. Adorned in gold, these unassuming ceramics perform sensual acts by themselves or with others, on second view their mischievousness is noticed. Playing on the double entendre, the ceramics are brazenly hedonistic and joyful.
“As LGBTQ acceptance gains momentum there is an underlying movement in mainstream media to de-sexualize gay men and make us more palatable. In creating these explicit functional works, we hope to keep sexuality a driving force in gay identity and make queer homes a place where you can lay it out on the dining room table.”