I first learned about Beth Cavener, just a few weeks ago. I was vacationing in Virginia Beach,VA and attended an event at the Museum of Contemporary Art there. They had an exhibit which featured Hi Fructose (http://hifructose.com/), a successful contemporary art magazine online.
MOCA (Virginia Beach’s contemporary art museum) featured an exhibit where they chose 50 of the top artists celebrated in the magazine, Hi Fructose. The curators then chose pieces by said artists and tracked them down, so some of these works are on loan from permanent exhibits, private collections, etc, making this a truly unique exhibition.Beth Cavener is a ceramist who creates animals out of clay, usually in poses which are not quite comfortable or natural for the that particular animal. On her website, www.followtheblackrabbit.com, she speaks about human psychology being expressed through animal forms. She likes to blur the line between animal and human, gaining access to what she calls our ‘awkward edges’ and trying to bring attention to them. To get a better feel for her process, click here.
Figure: H 21 x L 37 x D 22 in.
Materials: Stoneware, paint, 18 k gold, rope, wood.
The blurb next to this piece spoke about the things that bind us and what they bind us to. While the fox’s leg is caught in a snare, the fox is not trying to gnaw that leg to set itself free. The fox wears a ring on it’s right front paw and is instead gnawing on this leg in anguish. This begs the question of the things that we are bound to by choice and the ones we wish to set ourselves free from.
A wider angle can be found here.
Title: “Unrequited” (Variation in Pink)
Dimensions: H 15 x L 45 x W 16 in
Materials: Resin infused refractory material, paint, steel base
This piece is so remarkable in person because of the awkwardness of the position of the rabbit. Never do you see rabbits in this position and yet this subject looks very peaceful and serene.
Her work is exquisite. She simply enthralls me with her understanding of the flow and texture of the hair on each animal. She clearly does her research on each subject in order to adequately reflect it in an artistic interpretation of reality. While they appear realistic at first, it seems she enlarges the eyes and enhances certain features of the animal for emphasis and focal point, while maintaining her push towards communicating with subtlety.
I hope you’ve enjoyed her work as much as I have. I really couldn’t share about this artist in one paragraph and be able to do her work justice. Hopefully the extra information I’ve shared has not only given you a more complete picture of her talents, but also cultivated in you an appreciation for what she is contributing to the contemporary art scene today.