Tuesday, November 23, 2010

artist of interest: Debra Baxter

You have to believe we are all magic, 2010
ceramic, mirror, lab grown bismuth (Germany)

Sculpture created from ceramic, stone, and crystals! What could be more wonderful? Debra Baxter's work is a harmonious marriage of organic forms, sparkling surfaces, and elegant materials. I first came across her work online as I was browsing my tumblr feed. The piece Crystal Brass Knuckles (I am going to realign your chakras motherf*****) (pictured below) seemed to be everywhere in my mineralogical internet world. A powerful and humorous image, it's no wonder it generated attention from the fashionably sarcastic.

Crystal Brass Knuckles (I am going to realign your chakras motherf*****), 2009
quartz crystals, sterling silver

But humor and fashion aside, there is something more that draws me to this object. It looks like a magical weapon from another world, glowing against a blue moon and shooting lightning rays into a starry sky. The science fantasy aspect of Baxter's work is what I find so compelling. Any time a piece lends itself to the viewer's imagination and opens up a window into an original, individual fiction, I consider it successful.

Join (it will stop screaming if you let go of it), 2010
cypress knee, epoxy, laminate, mirror

Baxter's work is so aesthetically pleasing. The juxtaposition of smooth, fleshy alabaster and wood, brilliant crystals, and shining mirrors is so rich and satisfying. The use of these elements in her compositions provides plenty to draw the eye around each piece over and over again.

Not only does the artist create beautiful sculptures, she produces a collection of very wearable jewelry, which you can purchase here. Also check out her tumblr page, which has some great images of her work and inspirational images of crystals in nature, fashion, and art.

Quartz Bomb II
 (all images via http://www.debrabaxter.com/)