Brian Rochefort, Absorption by the Sun

Brian Rochefort, Absorption by the Sun

By Debra Herrick

If you’re looking for a resplendent feast for your eyes, don’t miss the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara’s latest exhibit, Brian Rochefort, Absorption by the Sun

After years of disciplined experimentation, Rochefort has developed sophisticated secret formulas for glazes, producing vibrant, majestic colors that coat his ceramic vessels with sensory triggers from the psychedelic to the tropical.  

MCASB Opening night of Bloom Projects: Brian Rochefort, Absorption by the Sun, August 1, 2019. Photo by Debra Herrick.

Rochefort captivates the viewer further with his playful and sensual clay forms. Haptic textures resemble visceral and organic body parts and functions—intestinal, phallic, excreting—and natural topography—rocky, sandy, slick, volcanic. 

Informed by his world travels, Rochefort says his Crater Series is inspired by “holes in the ground.” After a remote five-mile hike in the Galapagos Islands, he came upon a massive hole: “I remember thinking this will have a big impact on the studio in some way. This was before I started doing this work in any way,” says Rochefort. 

MCASB Opening night of Bloom Projects: Brian Rochefort, Absorption by the Sun, August 1, 2019. Photo by Debra Herrick.

“When I go to these places, I take a lot of photos,” Rochefort notes, “If I wasn’t an artist working in ceramics, I’d probably be a photographer. I can’t try and mimic the most beautiful things and colors I’ve seen… I consider myself an abstract artist.”

What’s next for Rochefort? A totally new direction, he says. “I think I’m going to make pieces without holes on the top. Also, working with scale… Glazes are notoriously difficult. So, I have to organically get to that point (where I can) glaze to scale.” 

MCASB Opening night of Bloom Projects: Brian Rochefort, Absorption by the Sun, August 1, 2019. Photo by Debra Herrick.

MCASB Opening night of Bloom Projects: Brian Rochefort, Absorption by the Sun, August 1, 2019. Photo by Debra Herrick.

MCASB Opening night of Bloom Projects: Brian Rochefort, Absorption by the Sun, August 1, 2019. Photo by Debra Herrick.

Bloom Projects: Brian Rochefort, Absorption by the Sunis on view from August 1, 2019 to September 8, 2019 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, 653 Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara, mcasantabarbara.org.

Photos by Debra Herrick, MCASB Opening night of Bloom Projects: Brian Rochefort, Absorption by the Sun, August 1, 2019.

All quotes from Brian Rochefort are from Artist Talk: Brian Rochefort at MCASB, August 29, 2019. 

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