Clay obscure – grotesque sculptures and fighting demons

What is grotesque? How many of you art-lovers know this? What do you expect from art? Can artist live up to those expectations?


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These are the questions we need to answer today. Now, why did I ask you about grotesque? Yes, it is significant caracteristic of sculptures I will present you in this article, but not just that. Modern people demand from art to “WOW” them at first sight. We rarely stop and give time for our impressions to outgrow that “WOW”. And that is the first step in miscommunication between artist and his audience. To leave greater impession, artist craves to find something more effective.This is when grotesque gets to play it’s part.


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The most common definition of grotesque is “scary and funny united”. Art pieces that can make you feel that way for sure stay longer in your mind than a simple “WOW”, right? And, if impression is strong enough, these pieces might even shake your way of thinking or perceiving. Yes, there will be some of you that will, disgusted, turn your eyes from such a piece. But I dare to say it depends on how open-minded you are.

One fine exemple of grotesque is the art of Ronit Baranga , ceramist from Israel. This inspiring artist create clay sculptures that may haunt you in your dreams or make you revalue your aesthetic principles. One of the most impressive Mrs. Barangas sculptures is “The Grave Watchers – Childhood”. Demonic creatures presented as children demand your attenton, not just with obvious dark insignias, but with their vividly childlike expressions.


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If this isn’t grotesque enough, Mrs. Baranga can serve you a cup of tea. Using parts of human anatomy such as fingers and mouth, Mrs. Branga with sculptures named “Feast” and “Breakfast” told us another great way she developed this art form.


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Intriguing is a word you could use to describe sculpture Mrs. Baranga named “My Artemis”. But with dozen mouth attached to Artemis chest and blissful smile on her face, imprints this sculpture leavs are not easy to put in one word.


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Grotesque to fight of demons

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Demons have been following artists ever since they devided from God. Their hunger for presence of any kind of creator is everlasting. Artists are sensing that hunger and constantly trying to fight them of. Somewhere in this fight they will reach out for magic mirror and somehow capture demon in it. This magic mirror is grotesque.

Now, there are demons that can be very hard to capture. Those are usualy ones we fear the most – our own flaws. Ronit Baranga, evidently, knows this and she is not fighting. She is playing with it.


Visual courtesy of Ronit Baranga.

Marija Krsmanović

Marija Krsmanović

Hello! My name is Mary - sometimes very merry, others not as much. I am student of Serbian language and literature, writer and poet in attempt. For me, world without art would be boring as hell (you could say I strongly disagree with Plato). So, out of the sphere of visual arts, I will bring you something old, something new, some of it borrowed, maybe even blue and hope you will enjoy it!

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