J.D. Perkin creates figurative ceramic sculpture, inspired by poses drawn from yoga and meditation. The surfaces are rich and organic, with rugged, parched clay offset by deep blue, black or red glazed striping. This series, entitled Burned and Bloom, consists of figures kneeling, seated and inverted. Influenced by Japanese Butoh dance, particularly modern interpretations, and by the Buddhist monk, Thich Quang Duc, and his protest against the Vietnam War in which he burned himself, these dark subjects are haunting and expressive. Perkin’s use of color and pattern heightens the sculpture’s physical and emotional charge. He is intrigued particularly with surface patterns created from a variety of glazes and oxides. These patterns accentuate the forms while, at the same time constraining the figure. Seen in person, Perkin’s sculptures are thoughtful and inquisitive expressions alluding to a narrative with a mesmerizing aesthetic.
A Portland native, J.D. Perkin has exhibited his work since 1982. He received a BS from Portland State University in 1984, with a focus on anthropology. While there, he also received an Award of Excellence in Painting from the School of Fine and Performing Arts. A large part of Perkin’s artistic development includes performance art. He received a grant from the Metropolitan Arts Commission (RACC) in 1990 for his performance piece “Dirt Box.” In 2007, Perkin collaborated with Anne Thompson on Second Skin, a sculptural installation for the Portland Art Center. His work has been featured at the Portland International Airport, the Bush Barn in Salem, and on Oregon ArtBeat.