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Gizmology

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I find a similarity between my work and the “absurd” character of the unrealized inventions from earlier times.  An example of this would be American and European patent drawings from the eighteen and early nineteenth century.  These imaginative machines were never produced for popular use precisely because of their absurdity. Unlike these inventions, however, my sculptures are not created to perform a useful function. I intend them to be viewed as satirical, comical, and fictitious oddities through which I work to convey ideas and feelings about the dilemmas of modern society. Like a machine, our society needs careful maintenance and fuel to function smoothly, but it is, I believe, running out of energy and beginning to break down.

I build my obsessive‑compulsive objects to resemble household appliances and toys. This is an attempt to establish a comfort level for the viewer. Contemplation of these machines will, I hope, spark the viewer's curiosity and stimulate their imagination to propel and enable the objects to perform their intended satirical purpose.

My creative process starts with intuitive pencil sketches that resemble crude technical prints. The drawings suggest machines that might perform some imaginary function. I determine the function and then further refine the image. The final drawing becomes a reference point and sometimes a template for the building process. For further interpretation and intricacy, deviations from the drawing occur as I build.

The building process begins with an interior frame, which is similar to house construction, except that I use clay slabs instead of framing boards. After the skeleton is complete, I enclose the structure and create any parts that must be added or assembled after firing. I use whatever type of building procedure necessary to complete the object; this may include coil building, wheel throwing, extruding shapes, and surface carving.

Through these odd imaginative gizmos and gadgets, I offer social commentary.  I have chosen satire and humor to engage the viewer in various ways of looking at the modern world.  This is an attempt to provoke joyful imagination and intrigue through the intricacy of the pieces.  I also suggest my view of the current human condition through the precariousness of the various elements in these sculptures. Finally, my work is an attempt to provide another context from which to view and respond to our place and time in history.

Email: gerard dot ferrari at icloud dot com

Phone: 860-336-1260

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