MARK TARABULA

Untitled - stoneware, underglaze, glaze 11.5 x 9 x 9in (2019)

STATEMENT:

Conditions of the human body, concepts of sexuality, and the connection between surface and form have guided my work. In all of my sculptural series, there is tension between the surface treatment and the physical shapes. Each sculpture lures viewers with sensual curves and silhouettes that tease intimate nakedness made of pieces molded from different bodies and combined to make forms that are both abstractly ambiguous and individually figurative. The essential response to the abstracted human forms was an unconscious attraction that defies heteronormative cultural norms and rather incited, directly through form, theories of gender and sexual fluidity. 

 

I use the method of molded body parts to create abstract forms, however, glaze became an actor that added another allegorical dimension. Thick and viscous glaze was poured and fired to a point that froze the melting action as it interacted with each sculpture. On some pieces, the glaze enacts a powerful, directional suspension opposite to the forms’ stature, and in others, the glaze pools and drips over parts of the form as residue of an unseen performance. Each sculpture of the series has a unique relationship with the glaze that partners with it. Some pieces are coated in complimentary colors which touch on social color associations for gender and identity. 

 

My sculptures are simplified shapes that create complex silhouettes, explore tension between ambiguity and individuality, and challenge the illusionary distinction between gender and sexuality.