30 January 2007

The disfigurines of Justin Novak


The ceramic figurine has historically embodied a mainstream, bourgeois ideology, and for this reason, I have employed it in the presentation of an alternative vision; an ironic anti-figurine, or 'disfigurine'. This subversion of the genre challenges the promotion of conformism manifested in traditional figurines.

In the 'disfigurine' series, physical wounds such as bruises and lacerations serve as metaphors for injury to self-esteem and other psychological harm. Whereas the figurine has historically represented the dominant culture's norms and ideals, the disfigurines aim to expose the damage inflicted by those very same expectations.

The fine line that exists between the “tasteful” and the “grotesque” is precisely the course that I strive to navigate. It is in the haunting tension between the two that seduction and repulsion inhabit the same space, where the very function of “taste” is perhaps suspended, and the politics of these gleaming white aesthetics are laid bare.

Justin Novak

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