Amber Aguirre

Kailua-Kona, Hawai‘i
Media: Ceramic

Throughout history artists have functioned as social commentators. As the child of a Holocaust survivor I was indoctrinated from a young age into awareness of the fear, apathy, and victimization inherent in human cultures. I use human and anthropomorphic figures as the vehicle to explore the results of these prevalent emotions on society. The results form an uncomfortable contrast between the external face of content and the inner destruction that they pose. I reference art, contemporary culture, religion, mythology, and other forms of social determinism to engage my subjects in activities that confront the viewer with the results of the human condition.

To accentuate the narrative I use various surface treatments to emphasize different aspects of the work. Along with a minimal use of colorful glazes, I use a surface technique that I developed known as “Naked Fauxku.” This approach reproduces a likeness to Naked Raku but is created in a high fire, oxygenated atmosphere with no reduction. The advantage of this technique is that it creates a cracked and painful looking surface that adds subliminal meaning to the work, while technically imparting the work with a durability that is unattainable from unvitrified raku work.

Learn more about Amber's process and project in her blog post.

Recipient of the Curator's Choice Award