Juan Ramon Gimeno
Juan Ramón Gimeno, originally from Malaga Spain, now resides and works in Santa Cruz, California. Gimeno’s work is heavily inspired by the Greek myth of Prometheus, the Titan who created human beings from clay.
According to the myth after the creation of humans, Prometheus stole fire from the gods and gifted it to humanity.
Thanks to fire, human beings achieved the ability to create, an attribute that had until then been the sole prerogative of gods. Prometheus’ gesture angered the gods, who, as a punishment, chained him to a rock in the Caucasus, where his liver was eaten daily by an eagle.
Being immortal, Prometheus was reborn every day and forced to relive his eternal punishment.
Similarly, to the plight of Prometheus, ceramists receive daily punishment in the form of great difficulties. A temperamental medium, with a steep learning curve based on continuous experimentation, uncontrollable contractions, and fractures, capricious chemical reactions, an expensive and complicated infrastructure, unusual licenses, permits and security requirements. But despite the difficulty each tiny victory is so gratifying that day after day ceramists resume their work without giving up.
In the myth, it was Hercules who put an end to Prometheus’ punishment. In the case of ceramists, it is their Herculean persistence and tenacity which makes their success possible.
Juan Ramón Gimeno is among the herculean class of ceramists who achieve otherworldly results through persistence and skill.
Each of Gimeno’s ceramic sculptures is an original handmade work, built using various techniques such as slab or pinch construction, neriage or by the addition of other materials. Materials include stoneware and porcelain clay bodies of varied colors sometimes also colored with oxides or pigments.
Without imitating any naturally occurring form, the work itself looks entirely organic as if pulled from the earth itself. Gimeno’s Titan-like skills and Prometheus-like persistence is evident in every piece he produces.