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HomeArts & CultureSydnie Jimenez's Striking Ceramic Sculptures Celebrate Individual Expression and Diverse Communities —...

Sydnie Jimenez’s Striking Ceramic Sculptures Celebrate Individual Expression and Diverse Communities — Colossal



art craft

#ceramic #clay #identity #sculpture

February 9, 2024

Kate Mothes

All images © Syndie Jimenez, shared with permission.

In museums or galleries, artist Sydnie Jiménez never saw figurative sculptures that looked like her or that she could identify with. Inspired by her surroundings where she grew up in North Georgia and later in Chicago, where she attended the School of the Art Institute, she discovered a love for ceramics as a way to celebrate black and brown bodies and express individuality, agency, and empathy in a in a way that she did not see in the history of art.

“I’m really interested in how people express themselves through fashion or just the way they behave,” Jiménez says. When building clay figures by hand, the artist uses rolling and pinching techniques starting with the feet. “I usually don’t have an exact idea in mind, so I start with the shoes, then decide if the figure is wearing a skirt, pants, etc., and go from there.” The process allows you to work without many restrictions, making creative decisions while sculpting fashion accessories and hairstyles. He then lightly carves the outlines of swimsuits, tattoos and eyebrows and adds a series of polishes.

Jiménez often works alongside her twin sister Haylie Jiménez, an artist who uses clay and two-dimensional media. “Because of our shared experiences as twins, our work and concepts bounce off each other and push us to create more interesting things,” she says.

Two ceramic figurative sculptures dressed in fashionable clothing.

Energetic, assertive and inquisitive, Jiménez’s personalities confidently gaze at the viewer with expressions ranging from doubt to boredom and bewilderment. “I really focus on these figures having their own autonomy and, at the same time, having a community to lean on and celebrate,” says the artist. The historical lack of representation of people of color in art drives her to share her own experiences, relationships, and connections to the world and the future.

“I think a lot about colonialism and white supremacy because of my background as a biracial Latina in the United States, so being in that kind of environment encourages me to continue creating and recording my own culture,” Jiménez says. “Like 500 years from now, these works will still be standing and people of the future will be able to see how the young people of the 21st century dressed.”

While she did not intentionally sculpt as self-portraits, Jiménez is often told that her works look like her, and she says it is probably related to seeing her own face and that of her twin so frequently. That sense of familiarity is also what resonates most with viewers, and is the most enjoyable part of sharing her work with others. “One of my favorite things about attending an exhibition opening that includes my work is when I hear someone say, ‘This looks like my daughter,’ or something like, ‘This is totally Ze!’ It’s really comforting to me when people see friends, family or themselves at my work.”

If you’re in Los Angeles, you can see Jiménez’s work in a group exhibition opening February 22 at New Image Art. And in June he will host a solo exhibition with Albertz Benda. See more on Instagram.

Two ceramic figurative sculptures dressed in fashionable clothing.

Three figurative ceramic sculptures wearing swimsuits and fashionable clothing.

A ceramic figurative sculpture dressed in fashionable clothing.

Two ceramic figurative sculptures dressed in fashionable clothing.

A ceramic figurative sculpture dressed in fashionable clothing.  The shirt says "It's never enough"

#ceramic #clay #identity #sculpture

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