“Making things (and living life) is essentially a series of decisions, each one contingent on the previous.” - Jim Gottuso
After several years of running his own businesses, including computer graphics and animation, fatherhood prompted Jim Gottuso to commit to the studio practice of a functional potter. Practicality and intellectualism are wedded in how he speaks about his work.
“I am very interested in the complete cycle of creating clay objects,” explains Gottuso. “Working on the wheel has provided a framework, grounded in functionality, which allows creativity to flourish. Functional demands inform aesthetics and vice versa, creating an evolution that hopefully moves forward to better work. Imperfections that occur while aspiring to perfection are exciting and learning to let them be has been a challenge. Not setting out with strict limitations always allows some wiggle room to let something become something else. This makes each object’s creation different and the immense frontier of possibilities provides exhilaration. Wondering about the unknown results in the coming years of trial and error, a period that all potters eventually get under their belts, appeals to a sense of anticipation about the promise of the future.”
“I’ve written statements about my work over the years and as I’ve matured I’ve come to look at what I do in the broader context of what all artists, craftspeople, writers, musicians, etc. do. After attempting to distill this all down to a somewhat simple explanation and thereby jettison the inevitable “artspeak jibberish”, what I’m left with is this: Making things (and living life) is essentially a series of decisions, each one contingent on the previous. Evidence of those moments of decision (or the concealment of said moments) represents the object’s evolution from idea to its final state. Consequently, the work done on the objects themselves can be viewed as a metaphor for existence. In the microcosm (my work), the calligraphic brushwork includes obvious examples of my decisions represented by the change of direction of each brushstroke. I try to make these quickly so that the results are almost a presentation of many decisions skirting the boundaries of my subconscious.”
"I've come to believe that I've always just been in love with what happens when a brush, pen or pencil makes contact with another surface and using shellac as a resist on dried, unfired clay allows the surface to be etched without losing the immediacy and spontaneity of such brushwork."
Gottuso will be participating in the first Southern Crossings Pottery Festival (SXPF), which will take place March 2 & 3, 2018 at Copper & Kings in the Butchertown neighborhood of Louisville. The event will showcase potters in the Ohio River Region, including Lexington, Cincinnati, and more. The festival will also include the Empty Bowls Benefit Dinner @PLAY Louisville on March 3, 2018.
Hometown: Chadwicks, New York
Education: BFA in Drawing and Ceramics / Murray State University 1982; MFA in Sculpture / Southern Illinois University, Carbondale 1986
Gallery Representation: In Tandem Gallery / Plough Gallery / Kentucky Artisan Center / Terra Incognito / Warm Springs Gallery.
Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.