Artists can actualize tangible objects which address the frustrations that we commonly feel. In ceramics, there is a long, historic tradition of political commentary. Themes that pique our visual outcries range from canaries in the coal mine to thinking about citizenship, American and world history, power, democracy and the value and vulnerability of freedom. Since the invention of the printing press, drawings of political satire and humor have been used to inform and get a message out to the population. 17th and 18th century British and French political satire, as well as comic art and prints by James Gilroy and William Hogarth changed thinking with brilliant wit equaling high art. Goya, Daumier, Picasso, the Gorilla Girls, and today’s New Yorker Magazine covers by Barry Blit come to mind as artists make political-commentary in reaction to their times.

Black Swan Platter, A Rarity

Mara Superior, “Black Swan Platter, A Rarity”, 2010, 16 x 16 x 2″, high-fired porcelain,
ceramic oxides, underglaze, glaze.

While listening to NPR, Superior heard the Great Recession of 2008 characterized as a “black swan occurrence”, which is an impactful historical event that is surprising when it happens but seems obvious and predictable after the fact. White swans are prominent in Superior’s work and throughout the history of porcelain, so she was intrigued by the idea of this rare bird as a symbol of the financial crisis.

Mother Nature

Mara Superior, “Mother Nature Says, Wake Up!”, 2010, 17.5 x 22.25 x 1.5″, high-fired porcelain,
ceramic oxides, underglaze, glaze, wood, pearl luster, gold leaf, paint.

Mother Nature is a pro-science admonition to those who would choose to ignore logic. A reminder of the delicate beauty and bounty at risk — for short term financial gain.

Please Advise

Mara Superior, “Please Advise”, 2012, 8.5 x 11.5 x 1″, high-fired porcelain,
ceramic oxides, underglaze, glaze, gold leaf.

July 4th

Mara Superior, “July 4th”, 2016, 12.5 x 12.5 x 1.5″, high-fired porcelain,
ceramic oxides, underglaze, glaze, gold leaf.