ELYSE PIGNOLET | YOU SHOULD SMILE MORE
Exhibition Dates: May 16 - June 29, 2019
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 6, 2019, 6 – 8pm
Koplin Del Rio is pleased to present You Should Smile More from Los Angeles based artist Elyse Pignolet. The exhibition, which includes a selection of ceramics and works on paper, marks the artist's first solo exhibition with the gallery.
The ceramic sculptures, part of Pignolet’s “Blue & White” series, are comprised of an array of plates, vases and tulipieres inspired by the extensive history of ceramics, and traditional porcelain decoration from around the world. The works in Pignolet’s series contain familiar patterns and motifs, emblazoned with commentary on highly-charged issues for women - such as female transgression and empowerment, sexual harassment, cultural stereotypes, inequality, and the dialectic between feminism and misogyny.
Pottery that may be read at first glance as familiarly decorative, delicate and classically influenced, upon further inspection reveals images and text containing politically confrontational, unapologetic messaging. The artist contrasts traditional techniques and patterns with unsettling, suggestive innuendos and tropes that are all too common in our language and culture.
Says the artist, “Intentionally, I begin my process with something strongly associated with the feminine... pretty, decorative, domestic, familiar, a vase, a flower arrangement. My hope is to then slightly create a shift; to make the situation a bit uncomfortable, a bit strange. Perhaps offensive or even vile. I’m interested in contrasts.
BIO | ELYSE PIGNOLET
Born in Oakland, CA, Elyse Pignolet is an American with Filipino heritage, living and working in Los Angeles. She attended California State University, San Francisco, studying Fine Arts. In 2001 she lived in Madrid and Barcelona, Spain, studying arts and Spanish language. She completed her BFA degree in ceramics at CSU Long Beach in 2007. Her studies included an intensive ceramics tour through Mainland China, and she also attended the International Ceramics Biennale in Korea. She was awarded a CSU Long Beach Travel Scholarship for Art, and traveled to Lisbon, Portugal to study traditional tile murals. She has traveled extensively in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, and South America.
Pignolet works primarily in ceramics and her work has been inspired by and dealt with various themes including social issues and topics from contemporary news articles. Her sculptures attempt to place the permanence and traditions of ceramics with the fleeting and transitory nature of the contemporary world.
She has created several bodies of work that contrast the extensive history of ceramics and the permanence of that material with the temporary nature of urban graffiti. The resulting works are hand-built sculptures that draw from the traditional calligraphies of the various cultures, urban architecture, combined with the lettering of contemporary urban writing to create abstract wall pieces. By placing some of these works in outdoor urban settings, they contrast strikingly with the existing graffiti and architecture.
Other ceramic projects have juxtaposed the brash nature of political news headlines with the subtle shapes of traditional ceramic forms. Her works have been featured in several contemporary arts publications including the LA Weekly, Juxtapoz Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times.