Colin J. Radcliffe (b. 1994) is a ceramic sculptor based in Brooklyn, NY.
Love Spoiled embodies the ambivalence of relationships – to be generously spoiled with an overflow of love for or from a partner, yet also the looming expiration of a love that may itself go bad and spoil. Relationships are trials by fire, much like how ceramics are a literal trial by fire. Ceramics have a long history of usage as vessels and idols; physical objects that themselves contain or embody something, whether that be tangible or not. Humor is a driving force for me that has been a catalyst for healing from trauma. Alongside playful colors and forms, humor opens the door to address the difficult and often painful realities of heartbreak.
Chronicling my successes and failures in love, my work is autobiographical and often at times confessional. Each work is a personal memory, an ode to a romantic, platonic, or sexual partner and our connection to one another (or lack thereof). Using the same hands that once caressed a lover or sent an intimate text message, I pour my (often unspoken) sentiments and memories of that person through touch into the piece that embodies them, and in doing so release those feelings and give space for healing…so that I can love anew, again and again.
The pursuit of Queer intimacy and connection, especially in the context of social media and dating apps, is the thread that connects and drives all my work. Longing for love is a universal experience, yet it’s one that has historically, both culturally and systemically, been withheld from and denied towards Queer people. There are still tremendous engrained psychological and emotional hurdles that Queer people face today in their personal and communal pursuits of intimacy, love, and connection, that permeate through their platonic, romantic, and sexual relationships. Through making work that challenges and represents contemporary Queer relationships and digital dating culture, it will ideally open space to hold a mirror up to our own personal experiences, and give way to building healthier and more fruitful (and fruity) relationships.
Today, homosocializing in digital space is how most young Queer people cruise, network, build community, and discover friendships. Many of my own relationships began through first meeting someone digitally. I rely heavily on my phone for forming connections and establishing relationships, so much so that it has manifested physically in my work as honest records of selfies taken with a loved one, or private text messages exchanged between us.
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Opening this Friday Nov 3 is Passing through the Soft Storm, by London based abstract-figurative painter Adam Baker, his first solo exhibition in the US. This series of oils is inspired by the notion of travel and the separation of self that comes with voyaging into the unknown.