May 14th, 2012
Keisuke Mizuno (b. 1969 in Nagoya, Japan)
Forbidden Fruit with Leaf, 1998, glazed porcelain
I unfortunately associate porcelain with sentimental Hummel figurines and cheap holiday ware. To see the material in the service of something this decidedly un-Hummel is a real treat. Of note right away is the outstanding craftsmanship: check the detail of the fruit’s chewed pulpy fibers; the intricate texture of the fruit’s stem.
But it’s the tone and theme of this piece that really hits me: the beautiful despoiling, the raw viscera of our eating eaten world, the neverending cycles of consumption-destruction in nature (and, by extension, in us). Perfect forms of beauty spoiled: by necessity, impartially, forever. Watch those glistening slugs feasting on fruit scales. And that alarming exposed kernel of child tucked away on the inside, skulled and dead (zoom in to see), either already killed from the devouring of its eggfruit, or maybe gone from the start and not the prize the slugs thought it would be (notice the slug nearest the child turned away, its eyepods facing the viewer).
But the slugs are in for a surprise perhaps? — check out the the hint of reddish nubbed pulpy backside of the redveined leaf. Feels almost like the whole leaf is itself flesh, calling to mind certain varieties of carnivorous plant, and like it could fold up its meaty lobes at any moment and eat the eaters & eaten. Without malice, without triumph. Just automatic innate drive to absorb, draw life essence from, excrete.
More about Mizuno, and more examples of Mizuno’s work at Frank Lloyd Gallery.