Stephanie Kantor (b. 1985, Pittsburgh, PA, USA) lives and works in Denver, CO. She received her MFA in Ceramics from University of Colorado Boulder (2015) and BFA from Penn State University (2009). Kantor has shown nationally at Patterson Gallery (PA), Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (KS), Paragraph Gallery (MO), Belger Crane Yard Studios (MO), Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (CO), and Sala Diaz (TX).
Kantor’s work explores the paradoxical aspects of culture, both expansive and local. She samples at will, an arbitrary collection of misinterpretations, gentrifying foreign cultures. Kantor makes large scale, sculptural ceramic pots and places them within created environments, transporting the viewer to an alternate reality. She utilizes ornamentation and decoration to create a facade of culture, where her objects speak to multiplicity, cultural diversity, and artifice.
size ranges from 1′ to 4′
These pots explore three family traditions. Money Wash depicts the ritual of washing my hands in money every New Years Day. Rhododendron evokes the memory of having my photograph taken by my grandfather in front of the springtime bloom each year. Peony is reminiscent of the passing on of a peony bush from generation to generation. I used these personal family traditions to create motifs, symbols, and imagery, that are meaningful to me.
All of the pots are non-fucntional, often the bottom is missing or the interior is inaccessible making them objects of contemplation, not use. The pots are coil built and the decoration is created by building with small cut outs or glazing together smaller forms. In this work, I was interested in having the ornamentation and decoration embedded into the work instead of solely existing on the surface.
size ranges from 1′ to 3′
I often think of building pots similar to making collages, these pots are evident of these two worlds combined. I am intrigued with the beauty and aura of historical ceramics and my process starts by carefully observing the subtleties of these objects. I begin my making paintings, paper cut outs, of these pieces. I then cut apart the drawings and collage them back together, this is a way for me to break comfortable habits and possibly get unexpected results. These drawings become the inspiration for the pots.
These pieces are inspired both in form and decoration from many cultures including China, Spain, Turkey, Iran, Mexico, Italy, Portugal, and Japan.