Massimo De Carlo is pleased to present Jaguar! Jaguar!, Brian Rochefort’s debut solo exhibition with the gallery, and the artist’s first in London.
Brian Rochefort is a mixed media sculptor based in Los Angeles, who has been mastering volcanic eruptions of glazed and layered ceramic works. Jaguar! Jaguar! comprises of a new series of twenty-two sculptures that resemble “craters,” large vessel-like sculptures made of glazed stoneware and earthenware, oozing with vibrant colours mimicking the explosiveness of natural surroundings. At first glance, the sculptures range across the entire colour spectrum, but upon close inspection, each ceramic crater constitutes a world in itself: a rupturing microcosm with its own story to tell.
As an avid explorer of the earth’s natural beauty, Rochefort’s work is often inspired by volcanic landscapes, remote tropical rainforests, and protected barrier reefs. Jaguar! Jaguar! in particular refers to the artist’s recent travels to the Bolivian Amazon. Chromatically rich in colour, and highly varied in surface structure and finish, these works can resemble a marine habitat.
Unfired clay objects are broken apart, built upon with more material, then fired between each layer of glaze to produce volcanic masses or craters, overflowing with colour and character. The surfaces of the sculptures are a blend of rough, uneven clumps and smooth, bubbly drips, all suspended in place by the kiln firing. Solid vibrant chunks flow over previously laid gradients while cracked exteriors and painted glass fragments peek from beneath translucent splatters. Sitting at the base of each sculpture is pooled glazes and melted glass, mimicking the natural beauty of a cave structure amongst other natural phenomena. For instance, Specimen consists of a speckled pink crater, crackling in a manner that is reminiscent of a coral reef. Etoliate, on the other hand, fades from a mustard-ochre hue to a light pastel-pink colour, carefully dotted with fragments that exude an element of delicacy, almost similar to an intricate piece of confectionary. Through rigorous investigations into process and material, Rochefort’s work manifests a level of expertise in ceramic making, yet resisting the formal and technical confines of the medium of tradition-bound ceramics.
Jaguar! Jaguar! expands past its limitations to new territories of freedom, invention, and play. It is evident that a sense of colour comes confidently and intuitively to Rochefort, yet the artist maintains a childlike wonder and playfulness when creating the final works. The rigor of Rochefort’s investigation of process and material is evident in the textural complexity of the artist’s sculptures.