Mike Rand began exhibiting his ceramic artwork while still in public school. By 1996 his work was exhibited on the national stage. After attaining his Master of Arts degree at Southern Cross University in Lismore, NSW, Australia he began to exhibit internationally. In 2002 Rand returned to the United States of America where he continued exhibiting in group and solo exhibitions. His artwork is part of the permanent collections of the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Dayton Art Institute. His studio and wood-kiln are in the mountains of Colorado.
My ceramic art links to the old. It takes art traditions and mutates them into personal visions. Two keys to understand the thinking behind the way my art moves from traditional to the new come from Leonardo Da Vinci, who wrote that: “man should become universal”, and that one needs to learn as much as possible about as many things as possible too truly understand the world – the Gestalt. Using these related approaches I push the boundaries of what ceramics, as a medium, should become. While linked to traditions past, the ideas and process used in my work stretch the materials’ chemical properties and limits to open potentials for new ceramic aesthetics.
One needs to venture beyond the safety of boundaries to see what is really possible with a medium. This is an uncertain endeavor. It calls up the idea that the opposite ends of the spectrum of fantasy-reality can exist at a single time within the piece of ceramic art. Using a thought and production process that brings my beliefs in scientific studies into the reference frame of ceramic arts provides clearer focus. Out of the uncertainties of the wood kiln's fiery space of chaotic forces I see my work in the “fantasy” of the viewer's internal world and the “reality” of the surrounding external universe.
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