To Morandi

Year: 2016



To Morandi is my response to feedback I received on my previous series, Bevy. When I made the Bevy pieces I received the same comment on four different occasions: "those remind me of Morandi's paintings". This left me unsettled because the Bevy pieces were about building forms and surfaces. If it was actually Morandi's paintings that were my inspirations I would have made entirely different pieces. So I made the pieces you see below, "To Morandi".

Here are my friend's comments on Bevy that led me to Morandi: 

Conversation 1: 

A few months after the Bevy show in Brooklyn I had an opportunity to display the pieces at a furniture showroom in New York City. As soon as the vessels entered into the grand showroom floor they appeared to shrink in half. They were displayed on the mantle piece in the main lifestyle room. The showroom manager turned to me and said, "these remind me of Morandi's paintings."

Conversation 2:  

I was renting the interior L-shaped corner with a counter and shelving in a shared Brooklyn studio. The Bevy vessels were tightly nestled on a 4'-wide shelf close to the ceiling. One of my studio mates at the other side of the L-shaped counter, about 5' from where I was sitting, looked up and said to me, "those remind me of Morandi's paintings".

I only had an iPhone to take photos. Some of the incandescent ceiling lights had burnt out. I stepped on a stool to take a photo of the vessels packed closely to the ceiling. I attempted to make the photos as appealing as possible by adjusting contrast and brightness. As a result the image had washed out color., Blue-grey shadows blended with the pale purple wall paint. I posted this photo on Instagram. 

Conversation 3: 

One of my swimmer friends at a swimming pool I used to go to everyday said that she saw this picture on Instagram. She said to me, "they remind me of Morandi's paintings".

The Bevy series were shown at a gallery in Brooklyn that is affiliated with the studio where I was renting. The first three years of my ceramic making most my time was spent in this studio.  I would go there by 5am so I could work 2 hours before I would go to the pool, and then to my full-time job.  I needed to take pictures for a price list and an invitation for the show so I took vessels to the backyard to take photos. Early morning hours in the backyard gave me a shadowless blue tinted image. 

Conversation 4: 

The owner of the gallery looked at the images on the price list and said to me, "they remind me of Morandi's paintings."

In these works my interest was to capture the mood of his paintings rather than the subjects he painted. I went to the Center for Italian Modern Art in Lower Manhattan to see his earlier, less well-known works. Their perspectives were disorienting. The assemblies of bottles made me feel like I was viewing high-rise buildings. The image did not offer me the object's color, but looked to have a film or a filter, like Instagram would offer. 


This project was exhibited during 2016 Salone del Mobile at Rubelli showroom in Milan.