Polite Penguin Jar, 2021
11 x 7 ½ x 6 ½ inches
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Artist Sharif Farrag has produced three new glazed stoneware jars for Possession Obsession. In Farrag’s ceramic universe, traditional standards of ceramicist craftsmanship are jettisoned in favor of improvisation and expressiveness. Titled quite literally after their figurative subjects, the three new works disclose a shadowy character, a trait which is pivotal in Farrag’s broader practice to express self-liberation from the pressures of living up to standards of representing one’s culture.
Sharif Farrag (b.1993, Reseda CA) grew up in the heart of the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles, a first generation American born to an Egyptian father and Syrian mother. He describes his childhood as a disorienting pastiche of intense suburban normality and a foreboding mysticism full of curses, omens, and hauntings. In a post-9/11 America, Farrag’s work is a result of the personal pressure and confusion of performing “upstanding” American Arabness and Muslimness. Recent exhibitions include: François Ghebaly, Los Angeles (2020); Adams and Ollman, Portland (2020); in lieu, Los Angeles (2019); The Pit, Glendale, California (2018).