John McMartin

July 22 - August 4, 2005

Artist Statement:

Artists' statements have always made me a little uneasy. I believe art, at least my own, has a function in and of itself. I find explaining my work limits the imaginative response of the viewer. I've made the stuff. Now it's your job as the viewer to interpret it.

I will say that I am interested in the process of art. My form-making and glazing tends to be intuitive and the process almost meditative. Most of my pieces are functional and engage the viewer on an aesthetic level. There are two pieces, however, that require a slight explanation. The ashtray heart, the title of which is taken from a Captain Beefheart song, is my reaction to a recently failed relationship ("you used me like an ashtray heart/case of the punks right from the start"). Also, the column titled good grief, is a physical metaphor for the process of grieving. The routine of existence, living day to day, task by task, enables us to survive overwhelming grief. The title comes from a novel by Lolly Winston. The main protagonist is told by another character that it's okay for her to be crying because she's reached the level of acceptance over the death of her husband; it's "good grief".

I would like to dedicate the show to my father, Don McMartin, who passed away this year on March 27th. All my love Dad. I wish you could be here.


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