Clara Hoag Statement
I make people.
They’re not perfect; they’re not even pretty.
But they do illustrate the elemental qualities of the human condition. My people are mottled and bumpy; they’re off-kilter, yet grounded. In my creative process, I embrace the chaos of life and find beauty in imperfection.
The architectural elements in each piece – dense skyscrapers, complex scaffolding, and slum housing – illustrate the complexity of 21st century life, from the social constructions that keep our world running to the systemic structures that oppress us every day. Single buildings celebrate individuality or elevate the mundane; collections of architecture create tenuous landscapes where strength and vulnerability fight, constantly seeking balance.
My work is innovative and complex from start to finish. I over-fire clay and under-fire glazes to get surfaces that ooze, bubble and melt; I build my figures in parts; I use construction materials – such as steel, concrete, mortar, and epoxy – to assemble those parts; and I use armatures and supports as I build to achieve a gravity-defying effect in each finished sculpture.
My work certainly suggests the possibility of individual or social change, but nothing is overstated: I rely on viewers to bring their own feelings, experiences, and opinions to each piece. I leave space for people to define my art on their own terms. And, of course, I strive to suspend disbelief: the viewer sees him/herself in each piece and pauses in that revelation.