Mariko Brown Harkin holds an undergraduate degree from the Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA from Illinois State University. Her work displays aspects of ruggedness and refinement all at once. Her forms are incredibly refined. The openings form perfect circles with little variation, the handles spring and swoop retaining a sense of the malleable nature the material once had. The foot ring is sturdy and polished smooth, and the handle is well balanced in the hand. These are all signs of a great craftsman skilled with their materials as are all the artists we represent in our gallery. What sets Mariko’s work apart is her dedication to the decorative aspects of her work.
She uses an image transfer method known as ‘monoprint’ which allows her to create images on a flat surface – newsprint – which are then transferred onto the complex curves of the cups. The process creates a beautiful, yet imperfect image, resembling something like an old crumbling wall once covered in graffiti. Her subject matter focuses in nature and geometry – the maths which seek to describe nature. It is my belief that the artist is exploring a connection between the ‘built-world’ and ‘natural’ world finding a common thread in the way we perceive them both, often at a distance, as a decorative element of our lives.
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