"Fixed Imagination" Amia Yokoyama, Jody Baral, and William Crawford

20 May - 16 June 2021

Sebastian Gladstone is proud to announce Fixed Imagination, a three-person exhibition that explores the themes of fantasy, power, and otherworldliness. The trio of artists presents a compelling projection of the world we inhabit within their own unique embodiments of their individual practices. Through ceramics and drawing, Fixed Imagination coagulates these worlds into an intense and rapturous exhibition.

Amia Yokoyama, our current artist-in-residence, uses the ceramic medium as a further expansion of her own personal mythology. Her creatures, which resemble cartoonish-women, are in fact ethereal monsters, capturing and destroying their prey through the ultimate and final bliss--think Homer’s sirens, but born out of the internet. These figures are transfixed in time, yet fluid in concept; they seem to drip down on the table as they lay. Yokoyama uses porcelain, the most complex and delicate of ceramic clays both for its extremely appealing finish and its imperial past. Her use of porcelain, which was looted and appropriated from the Asian continent by colonialists almost 1000 years ago, acknowledges its brutal past while celebrating its heritage in the present day

Jody Baral’s crowns are at once a representation and mockery of authority. The crowns reflect the desires of power as well as the absurdity of the gilded edge of the ruling elites. At first glance, the crowns are intricate and beautiful, desirable even, but upon further examination the viewer sees a coal mine, a grotesque hand gesture, a delicate tower of objects, body parts, viruses, and more. Powerful people and their big crowns seem almost silly when placed into Baral’s world. The crowns don’t appear intimidating or powerful as their hosts would prefer, rather the crowns display as whimsical and precarious. Baral’s crowns, like Yokoyama’s figures, are extremely complex and skilled feats of ceramics, using the medium almost against its hard nature to build up delicate-fringed surfaces, luscious with glossy bits of color and glass.

William Crawford’s drawings are purported to be the extremely sexual interior monologue of the artist. Very little is known about Crawford as the entire collection of drawings was found in an abandoned house, some parts labeled with the California Correction system on them and signed by William Crawford. It is also believed that the repetitive figure in the drawings is the artist himself, and that the drawings were made in the California penal system in the 1990’s. Similarly to Baral and Yokoyma, the Crawford drawings present fantasy tinged with the overbearing weight of power and authority from a completely different position. The works are equally intricate and eloquent in their tact, composition and skill, while creating a crude, kinky, individualized world for the viewer. Many of the drawings focus on a specific area of the composition and fade out like one of Michelangelo’s anatomy drawings or a cloudy memory.

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