Pictured above is a new series of work from Joe Pintz and his wife Kristen Martincic. Cold Plunge features collaborative ceramic pieces that bring together Joe and Kristen's shared interests in minimal, reduced shape and the idea of containment. Kristen's woodcut "leisure pool" series was the starting point for the brick pools that were made out of coarse red clay.
Joseph Pintzís functional and sculptural ceramic work explores the role that domestic objects play in fulfilling our physical and emotional needs. Inspired by his Midwestern roots, Pintz creates mundane forms based on utilitarian vessels and other implements associated with the hand. In the process, the dense meaning of these objects is transferred into clay. Pintz earned his BA in anthropology and urban studies at Northwestern University and his MFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has been a resident artist at the Archie Bray Foundation and the Roswell Artist-in-Residence program. He has received the NCECA Emerging Artist Award as well as the Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. He is currently an assistant professor at the University of Missouri.
"Objects act as silent witnesses to our lives. Even simple household objects become dense with meaning through use; they reveal a wealth of information about our cultureís traditions, values, and beliefs. My work explores the role that domestic objects play in fulfilling our physical and emotional needs.
Our contemporary culture of convenience has traded vegetable gardens and homemade meals for fast food drive-throughs and TV dinners. This cultural shift motivates my interest in the objects related to the production and processing of food. Even at rest, they speak of visceral labor as well as the fruits of that labor. Although some of my vessels do not function in the traditional sense, they cause us to reconsider our preconceived ideas about usefulness and the notions of worth we associate with it.
"We often begin to grasp the significance of objects when they are lost, broken or worn out. The weathered surfaces of my work suggest this history of use; they serve as symbols of self-sufficiency and doing things by hand. As the distance between consumers and the sources of our food grows, my strong reference to the hand draws attention to our complex and evolving attitudes toward labor and food.
"The physicality of making defines who I am---whether it is working in clay, tending to the garden, or cooking a homemade meal. In response to the ever-increasing pace of life, I choose to slow down and celebrate the poetics of the commonplace."
Kristen Martincic grew up swimming in the Great Lakes and public pools around her childhood home in the Cleveland area. Her recent artwork explores the connection between the body and water. She uses swimming pools and objects associated with water to meditate on water's translucency and the act of swimming. She works with traditional print media and Japanese papers as well as a hybrid of printmaking, drawing, painting and sculpture. Martincic holds a BFA from Bowling Green State University and an MFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her artwork has been widely shown in solo and group exhibitions throughout the US as well as in Canada, France and Egypt. Her work is included in several public collections and she has been a resident artist at Jentel, Brush Creek Foundation, Prairie Center of the Arts, Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, and KHN Center for the Arts. She currently lives and works in Columbia, Missouri.
"I grew up swimming and have always been captivated by the stillness of being underwater. Being submerged lets us consider our bodies in new ways and affects how we navigate through space. My work explores this connection between the body and water.
"I am drawn to the architectural space of swimming pools. I am fascinated with how the color of water shifts depending upon its depth, on the angle of the light, the time of day, and the waterís structural surroundings. I love the contrast between the clear light blues of the shallows and the dark, slightly opaque blues of the diving bay. By bisecting the poolís container, I solidify water, leaving it brimming, uninhabited, and hovering in space. I bend water and ladders around the panelís side, moving two-dimensional image to object. I isolate and reduce this environment to its most fundamental elements: the container, the access ladder, the pool tile, the floatation device, and the water itself."
To see more of Joe and Kristen's work, click here.