Doug Rochelle came to New York in 2001 from Kansas City and got a job as a waiter, working nights. Doug joined the LaMano Pottery Studio in August 2001. After work, and inspired by what he calls “the madness and mayhem of working the graveyard shift… where fights, barf, homeless and drunks cyclone the edge” Doug would decompress at the studio by creating his haunting ceramic images until the wee hours of the morning. As he describes his process: “I smash two 25 pound blocks of clay together, then I draw, dig, scoop and poke. The sculptures take about one month to create and four to eight months to dry. The faces/heads are then bisque fired in the kiln, glazed and then high fired. Hopefully they survive…” His imagery, which began when he was 13, with doodles over the Yellow Pages while on the phone with his girlfriend, has continued to develop and grow. “I did try all the isms — Abstract Expressionism, Impressionism, Fauvism, and Surrealism, but I was always drawn back to the doodle figure/head. I like sculpting heads. They are made of abstract shapes yet easily recognizable. The masks also express my search for the truth which, in theory, can be better seen by looking at something from different points of view.”
“Where there is ego there is conflict” – Osho. I never heard that growing up, and every time I am about to react I take a step back. The truth is there is a rage inside me and I am afraid the uncontrollable Hulk will come out. I have been able to hold back my punch. I don’t want to burn any bridges. On one hand sharing such a thing makes me feel powerful on the other hand such a thing leads me to feel vulnerable. It was risky, in fact.
Through this body of work, multi-disciplinary artist Doug Rochelle has allowed himself to strike within his comfort-zone which is to express. Using these skills he is able to investigate what he feels is most difficult in life – learning to communicate sans subjugation. Inspired by the tragi-comedy of personal life experience in which the good and bad trauma of individual encounters expose themselves, he is able to create work in an attempt to exhibit the thought process within these relationships.
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