April 23, 2020

During these uncertain times, SMoCA has invited artists and staff to utilize our blog Inspire as an outlet to make meaningful connections by sharing personal reflections and insight into their practice.

Nathan Lynch, works in progress, 2020.

Entry #2: Nathan Lynch

Dear SMoCA fans,  

My show Living in Truthiness, opening October 3, is the main focus of my attention right now. 

I wake up every day, look at the news for 10 minutes, then watch clips from late night comedians for a half hour to balance out the first 10 minutes. I make breakfast and coffee (with a dollop of coffee ice cream—it keeps better than milk). Half the week, when the kids are here, I skip the news and make sure they are dressed and cleaned up before they start school Zoom meetings. Then I go to the studio outside—23 steps from the house—and work on the ceramic and wood sculptures that are the focus of my show.   

Half of the sculptures have an echo or shadow, a repeating form inspired by the allegory of Plato’s cave and our re-representations of reality. This idea resonates in the post-truth age we are living in, when the president is widely known for spreading misinformation. The other half of the sculptures are designed to be podiums and pedestals for giving lectures, speeches, and performances. They are like set pieces that will be activated by writers, political scientists, and comedians. 

At the moment, I don’t have access to the large kiln at California College of the Arts, where I teach and fire my larger works. So, as each new sculpture is finished, I find a spot for it in the studio—it’s a large two car garage. I cover the work in plastic to dry slowly and wait for the virus to die down.  Eventually, I will very carefully drive these sculptures to Oakland and get them glazed in time for their debut in Scottsdale. 

If you were going to give a speech, what kind of special podium would you design? Send me a drawing with the measurements and color at [email protected]. Will the form relate to the message?

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