Artist Profile: Laurent Craste Subverts Image of Precious Porcelain

MIAMI—What do decorative porcelain vases and urns have in common with old baseball bats, nails and hammers? Nothing, traditionally. But artist Laurent Craste has combined the unlikely objects to create innovative mixed-media sculptures that prompt conversations about material possessions and the definition of beauty.

“Iconocraste au bat IV,” 2012 (porcelain, glazing, baseball bat).

Craste began the series of fragile sculptural works about five years ago. During Art Basel Miami Beach, several were on view in Room 114 of the Aqua Hotel at the Galerie Sas space at the Aqua Art Fair.

From left, “Iconocraste 0-IV,” 2012 (porcelain, glazing, nails); “Repraisailles I,” 2012 (porcelain, glazing, nails); and “Iconocrash 1,” 2010 (porcelain, glazing).

Each work is modeled after inventory produced by European porcelain manufacturers in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Montreal-based artist designs and casts his porcelain works from scratch and incorporates found tools and other rustic objects. The mash-up explores the meaning of decorative objects, what Craste describes as their “sociological and historical dimensions,” along with their “ideological and aesthetic ones.”

At the fair, gallery director Jean Marc LaForest described the works as challenging the fact that we are “possessed by our own possessions.”

All photos © Arts Observer

“Ornament et crime II,” 2012 (porcelain, glazing, hammer).

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