Jake Clark (b. 1985, Melbourne) is a ceramic artist based in Melbourne, Australia. Clark’s interest in art began at a young age, igniting a creative journey that would eventually turn into a full-fledged career. An early obsession with drawing ultimately led him to swap pencils for spray paint as a teenager, and adopt graffiti as his preferred medium; citing Keith Haring’s subway art as a major source of inspiration from when he was a child. After discovering the late artist’s large urns and ceramic pots – Clark’s interests continued to evolve as he began working with clay in high school. Falling in love with the material due to its flexibility and potential to create 3-dimensional works, his focus transitioned to sculpture and painting.
In Clark’s Salon Highlight presented by Louis Buhl & co. is a series of fifteen acrylic-painted bronze ashtrays rich in references to art history. Indicated by the arched curves representative of waves that repeat across the surface of each piece, the sculptures are inspired by David Hockney’s Pool Paintings. Clark has long had a fascination with the city of Los Angeles for its abundance of mid-century homes and scenery.
The ashtrays came into play through experimenting with leftover bits of clay from his larger vessels, and have since become a signature of Clark’s practice. Special about the series, it is the first time the artist has worked in bronze, noting the experience of painting atop the surfaces was much different than with his typical use of clay; each sculpture required three to four layers of paint to achieve the desired result. The casts were pulled from a mold Clark made for a previous clay piece and were then produced at a foundry. Once the raw works were produced, he welded the cigarette butts onto the ashtrays in varying positions to lend each one unique qualities.
Check out some behind-the-scenes imagery of the creation of Jake Clark's Mulholland Drive editions.