Filipino-American artist Jane Margarette makes large, wall-mounted ceramic sculptures that invite a closer look. Her practice explores themes of protection and captivity through surrealist depictions of animals and insects, chains, locks and architectural elements like doors and windows.
“My work is based on what’s around me,” Margarette says, noting her affinity for animals, from her cat to a flock of parrots seen from her home studio in East Los Angeles. As for her bat-themed pieces, their inspiration is rooted in Octavia Butler’s vampire book, Fledgling. The artist finds magic in clay’s ability to “transform itself into different things, expressing both strength and fragility,” she notes. “But I’m pushing what it can do, physically.”
Indeed, the monumental scale of some of her slab-built artworks requires her to design a template for each individual one, which she then “puzzles together” to form her creation. She is represented by Anat Ebgi in L.A. and will have her first solo show in Europe this fall at Ruttkowski;68 gallery in Paris.