Massimo De Carlo presents “Toothpick”, the new exhibition by American artist Christian Holstad.
“Toothpick” is structured as a spiraling voyage into the cyclical nature of creation, growth, waste and dissipation.
In his practice Christian Holstad has often explored, both aesthetically and conceptually, the vessel and content of consumption and its consequent effect on the world. In “Toothpick” this investigation is paired with the artists’ newfound muse – Food; in the past couple of years cooking has been, in the words of the artist himself, like ‘learning a new language’.
Clay was Christian Holstad’s first medium. This new exhibition at Massimo De Carlo will include, among others, a new enchanting series of ceramic works. In his formative years the artist discovered the medium’s tactile, emotive and alchemical nature, which can also be related to food and cooking. The nature of clay, combined with its historical relationship with food,makes it the perfect instrument to translate this research around nutrition and squander into the vocabulary of art.
Many of the works in the exhibition are the result of the artist’s stay in Faenza where, working closely with Italian ceramists, he developed new ways of working with clay that expand the American, English and Japanese techniques he was already accustomed to.
The understanding of new languages and the subsequent visual and emotional decoding of them are at the heart of “Toothpick”. Here food scraps, dishes, sandwiches, dog bowls and so on become traces of an imaginary soothing household ambiance which raises questions on the relationship between the warmth of domesticity and the external environment, the yolk and the shell.