Artist Statement

Joe R Avalos Jr
Artist Statement


The concepts of my current work investigates who I am as a person. This investigation is a path of Self Discovery. On this path I discovered much about myself as a Mexican-Filipino-American person and Ceramic Artist. But most importantly, who I am as a Mexican American, Chicano, “Pocho” and for what it’s worth Latino. I draw upon Imagery from my MesoAmerican Ancestors, most specifically the Olmec artworks found at “El Manati.” These works are about my children and their ultra sound images. These works show how an image of a child in utero can be so beautiful yet so disturbing. A grotesquely beautiful image…

Much of the themes that are found in my work are about Family, Faith, Death, and Colour...My figures are a discovery about myself, my Culture, my Faith System, my Fear of Death, my Family (Parents and Siblings, my Children, my Wife. The titles I choose, push the viewer to think about a specific thought and feeling about my work.

In a Home there is comfort and security. Within a Home there is a family. I interact with my family very well at home, just like my pieces interact very well with each other. Each is different, but yet they relate to each other in some way or form, just like a family or siblings. This Family (groupings, relationships, partnerships, and units) is important, because without family there is no sense of being or function, dys-function.

I use of the figure as a way to express the themes found in my work, for me the figure is a way of relating to everyone. My Figurative Sculptural pieces are constructed using balance or symmetry, although this balance or symmetry maybe only visible from one angle. Each piece is grotesquely beautiful and sometimes quirky or awkward but it is balanced.

My sculptural construction process is completely intuitive and I love the haphazard play that is involved with each piece.

The Surface Treatment, The Colour and Texture palette for my pieces reflects my love and understanding of colour, colour theory and glazing. This love and understanding of colour is somehow ingrained in my DNA through my family (Mexican culture) and growing up in a home that was full of colour (avocado green, mustard yellow, light grey, pastel purple, canary yellow and my room being bright orange). The Surface treatment of my work combines the old techniques such as of using the finest particles of clay, Terra Sigillata and Salt/Soda Ash Glazing as the base for my textured glazes.