Sculptor Expertly Fools the Eye with Surreal Ceramics That Look Like Wood

Posted on Art 200

Sculptor Christopher David White is known for his ceramic creations that double as fantastic optical illusions. It’s hard to believe the hyperrealistic pieces are made of clay, as they resemble knotty wood and dilapidated cardboard. These visual effects demonstrate incredible artistic skill, and White utilizes multiple hand-construction methods—such as modeling, molding, and casting—in order to produce the incredible textures that make his sculptures so confounding.

Nature’s perpetual transformation is what first inspired White’s body of work—the idea that everything is subject to a cycle of growth and decay, or life and death. “Change is a constant reminder that permanence is the ultimate illusion,” he explains in his artist statement. He adds, “I seek to expose the beauty that often results from decay while, at the same time, making my viewer question their own perception of the world around them.” This forces us to look closely at White’s sculptures, and discovering his intricate details—of mold, moss, grains of weathered wood, and tiny water droplets—brings us a sense of joy as they’re revealed.

White has created nearly 14 new sculptures this year, and they’ll soon appear at Abmeyer + Wood Fine Art in a solo exhibition called Human : Nature. The show opens on September 1 and is up until October 1, 2016.

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All images by Marta Finkelstein.