Malcolm Mobutu Smith

My works, both ceramic and drawing, are guided by improvisations that fluctuate between volumetric forms with graphic flatness. The vessels are inspired by the intersections of graffiti art, comic books, and playful organic abstraction. Generally, my ceramics forms rely on wheel-thrown and hand-built elements, most commonly presented as abstractions of cups, bottles, and vases. In this making practice, I merge these forms with my passion for Hip Hop and Jazz as locations for invention and the unexpected. The decorative objects operate as signifiers of acculturation to aesthetic things reflecting back to us our aestheticized desires and imaginations. Motivated by these concerns and my own multi-faceted/multi- cultural background my research blends identity politics, CAD/CAM, printmaking, and drawing into a complex web of influences and passions.