Rochefort’s process involves firing, glazing, breaking, rebuilding, and RE-glazing ceramic vessels multiple times until, in his words: “as many glazes as possible until I can’t fire anymore.”
A distinct visual element of Rochefort’s work (beyond the chaos of glaze layers) is a smooth color gradient on each vessel, achieved with an airbrush on one of the final layers. Also worth noticing are the globs or streams of melted glass that drip down a few of the craggled forms.
Born in 1985, Brian Rochefort grew up in Rhode Island and attended the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) before moving to Los Angeles where he currently lives and works. His “crater” sculptures are inspired by recent trips to Africa and Central/South America – notably the Amazon rainforest. The titles of his sculptures recall their connection to exotic nature: “Larvae”, “Extinction”, “Coral” and “Chytrid” (a type of dangerous fungus).
Though they celebrate the fantastical color combinations of flowers, birds, amphibians, and other animals he likely encountered within the most biologically diverse regions of our planet, the title of the show “2030” holds a darker message: 2030 is “the year that a United Nations panel has stated is the final year by which humans can effectively combat extreme climate change”.
“Brian Rochefort: 2030” is on view through February 16th at Van Doren Waxter’s intimate and sunlit 2nd floor gallery on the Upper East Side. When I visited on the 3rd day of the exhibition, all but one of the fifteen sculptures was sold (unsurprisingly). It’s confirmation that Rochefort is one to watch.
I’d also highly recommend following him on Instagram @energygloop.