For those who would relegate contemporary mosaics to the Decorative Arts section of the library, museum or art appreciation course, we would submit the work of Marcelo de Melo (Netherlands), Faile (US) and Carrie Reichardt (UK), our three Featured Artists this week. All of these artists use mosaic in enormously effective ways to speak to thorny and difficult issues of the day.
Marcelo de Melo’s work is edgy, crude and often difficult to look at. It is also thought provoking, tantalizing, and illuminating. The artist uses ceramic and pottery shards to comment on the issues of war and terrorism themes, as he puts it, “more commonly associated with contemporary art practice.” Marcelo de Melo has a voice and he is not afraid to use it.
New York City-based art collective Faile’s Temple, commissioned for Portugal Arte 2010, includes a series of mosaics based on paintings that explore the “postulation of what would happen if Native Americans came back to reclaim the land which was once theirs. Using the Native American as a metaphor for Nature vs. Man and our current struggle with greed and the material world.” Temple is full of surprises we think you’ll enjoy spending time with.
Finally, Carrie Reichardt (aka The Baroness) and her merry band of subversives from The Treatment Rooms has been taking mosaics to the streets of London for years now. Reichardt regularly makes the English establishment very, very uncomfortable with her spot-on imagery and commentary. We’re looking forward to interviewing her in person while we’re in London this fall.
Those of us in the US are “gearing up the barbie” for our celebration of the Glorious 4th this week. Wherever you are, we wish you much to celebrate and most of all – peace. – Enjoy, Nancie
Art: Marcelo de Melo More American Gifts: Grenades 2005 5.5 x 3.9 x 3.5 in Ceramic, porcelain, plaster, wire, metal, cement adhesive, grout.