Renata Cassiano Alvarez
Renata Cassiano Alvarez is a Mexican-Italian artist born in Mexico City and currently the faculty/technician at the University of Arkansas School of Art. Cassiano Alvarez works predominantly in the medium of clay but her background in painting and drawing takes a big part in her practice. She is interested in the power of the slow and quiet transformations happening around us, especially how adopting a different language can affect the physicality of the human body, and how this translates into material. Educated in Mexico, Italy, Denmark and the US, she has had the opportunity to work in different artistic environments, which has led to an intimate relationship with different materials and processes. Her work has been exhibited internationally and can be found in public collections in Estonia, Italy, Taiwan, Germany, Denmark, Latvia, China and Slovenia.
My focus is on the transformation of the historical role ceramic materials have in the ceramic process. When this role is changed, it is possible to realize a physical metamorphosis of the elements. At the center, I am discovering the multiple languages of ceramic glaze. A matter that historically has been relegated to surface decoration is able to become the structure of the sculpture itself. The result is a material with a new sentience. Engulfed by the glaze are extruded ceramic elements and the areas where this constructed sinew is revealed from amidst flowing, pooling and dripping glaze provide a view of change and fluidity captured and recorded in a singular moment. The sculptures have evolved into their own vocabulary, referencing ceramic traditions and conventions, classical sculpture and a morbid obsession with the unfamiliar. The work is no longer constrained by canon and is empowered by the freedom that the unknown bestows.