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Store spotlights sculpture inspired by ritual objects, primitive tools


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Photo by Wanda Jackson. Matt MacIntire’s alternating mix of textures, tones and surfaces combined with his playful execution make onlookers pause for a second look at his sculpture, “Pod #14.”

Photo by Wanda Jackson. Matt MacIntire’s alternating mix of textures, tones and surfaces combined with his playful execution make onlookers pause for a second look at his sculpture, “Pod #14.”

Published on: Friday, March 08, 2013

By Wanda Jackson

Since the beginning of time, mankind has used ritual objects to symbolically influence physical events — to bring good luck and protection from negative phenomena.

The sound from the “blowing of the Conch shell,” for example, is believed to “drive away evil spirits.”

In William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies,” the conch shell is used as a trumpet to call everyone together, symbolically representing democracy and order.

Local potter and sculptor, Matt MacIntire, has taken bits and pieces of inspiration from primitive tools and ritual objects to create sculpture that “recalls ancient tribal painting and artifacts found in the caves of southwestern Europe.”

Deep, stylized impressions appear on the surface of his work and push through to the interior walls of his vessels. Matte earth-tone glazes, applied in light and heavy washes, contrast glossy blue interiors.

The flow of visual elements connecting the inside of his work to the outside and the creation of mysterious, yet familiar forms are a cornerstone of MacIntire’s work and evolve from his interest in creating alternating sensory impressions.

Through April 6, MacIntire’s “coarse wood-fired vessel sculptures, rich in texture and dense in form” will be featured at the Brentwood Arts Exchange in the Gateway Arts Center.

MacIntire is the winter “Front Window Featured Artist” being spotlighted at the exchange’s Craft Boutique.

For MacIntire, his best work “occurs when it appears to be on the verge of being out of control; reaching for functional imperfection, the execution of the work itself straddles taut craftsmanship and childlike abandon.”

MacIntire, a Washington, D.C., native, credits his interest in sculpture to his family. The son of a second-generation architect, his affinity toward experimenting with structure came naturally. Mostly self-taught, he approaches his art with an initial idea and then builds onto his work as he creates it, often working in multiples to search out visual variations and combinations.

This “uninhibited experimentation” reveals some of his best work, MacIntire said, and provides viewers of his work a “rich visual experience.”

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