Joseph PintzColumbia, Missouri

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Joseph Pintz’ family and upbringing have strongly impacted his character and artwork. He is the son of German immigrants and grew up in a working class family in the Midwest. Pintz earned his BA in anthropology and urban studies at Northwestern University. After graduation, he taught in an inner-city school through Teach for America. He received his MFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He also was a resident artist and Lincoln Fellow at the Archie Bray Foundation. In 2009, he received an Emerging Artist award from the National Council in Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA). His work has been shown internationally and he currently teaches at University of Missouri-Columbia.

Household objects are dense with meaning and define the structure of one’s life. My work explores the role that domestic objects play in fulfilling our physical and emotional needs. They are based on mundane objects from the domestic realm, referring to traditional pottery and other implements associated with the hand.

Recreating common objects out of clay is a subtle and transformative act. I choose objects that have an inherent emotional charge, moving them from the known to the unknown. This mystery accentuates their metaphorical potential. Rhythm and repetition of form contextualizes this change of state and invite the viewer to reconsider the object’s meaning.

In contrast to the majority of images that bombard us everyday, my minimal forms achieve an unadorned simplicity. By carving them out of a solid block of clay, I reveal the unrefined qualities of the clay. People often begin to grasp the significance of objects when they are lost, broken or worn out. For this reason, I choose weathered surfaces and faded colors that suggest use. Ultimately, these straightforward objects celebrate the poetics of the commonplace.