Francesca DiMattio – Boucherite

Using Cultural References as Inspiration

A couple of weeks ago during a rainy business trip to New York, I was catching up with a good friend over breakfast and she mentioned the Francesca DiMattio exhibition at Salon 94.  After browsing images online and noticing the inspiration behind her current work – rag rugs from Morocco – I decided to check it out.  Giant ceramic sculptures, all sculpted and painted by hand, were collaged using different elements such as flowers, animals, and torsos.  An explosion of color, each sculpture was a representation of a mix of cultures and references with a nod to the craft of boucherite rag rugs – the tearing apart and piecing together of her subjects.  To mimic the hi-pile rugs, DMattio used a garlic press to squeeze out the clay and then combined it with an array of components including a Roman bust, a panda bear, an Ancient Greek figure, and Ming dynasty porcelain detailing from the 16thcentury.  I absolutely loved the details – like the small ceramic florals next to the spaghetti-like strands.  For such a small exhibition, it was both powerful and inventive.