Local Mind Disaster

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Robert Arneson

American, 1930 - 1992

Local Mind Disaster, 1972

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Earthenware

Dimensions: 21 × 11 1/2 × 13 in. (53.3 × 29.2 × 33 cm)

Gift of Mary Mallery Davis, by exchange, 2016.9

Robert Arneson rejected the idea, popular during his career, that ceramics and pottery were meant to be utilitarian and decorative. He brought a certain amount of humor into his work creating self-portrait busts, like the one you see here, with contorted expressions. For this work, he lit a firecracker inside the soft clay to create the exploded mouth and head. Born in California, he studied at California College of the Arts for his BFA and Mills College in Oakland for his MFA. He is widely recognized as the founder of the Funk Art movement in California.

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