My Ceremonial Vessels, are largely influenced by functional pottery, nonwestern rituals, traditions, and cultural practices. I am especially interested in West African and Pre-Columbian ceremonial objects. In this series I impale vessels with china shards, collected from the grounds of a recently demolished pottery factory (closed down after operating for nearly 100 years). Hundreds of people worked in this factory, producing countless plates, cups and bowls for restaurants and cafeterias throughout New York State. In some regard I created these vessels to pay homage to those who worked in industry. These shards represent fragmented histories pulled together to serve as a foundation for the Goli Bird. Impaling objects in this way offers a nod to Central African, Nkisi. Nkisi are thought of as objects that spirits inhabit. Impaled figures serve many purposes in this tradition but they are especially known for harnessing power, healing, protecting and communicating with ancestors. The slender quiet bird is perched on the top of a column covered with shards. For me these shards also reference mottled feathers. Shards are reclaimed as a new expression and the bird emerges from a post-industrial relic.

05/05/2019 - 25/05/2019

Conjuring Wholeness in the Wake of Rupture | De Buck Gallery, New York, NY

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April 18, 2019

Meet the Artist: Sharif Bey on his work in "Disrupting Craft: Renwick Invitational 2018" | Smithsonian American Art Museum

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