Becky Gottsegen, wonderful figurative ceramic sculpture
I turned 60 last September and have been struggling with the whole aging process. My latest work is an exploration of the psyche of women as they age. I have always been fascinated by the confidence some women portray with their imperfect faces and bodies while others pump up, fill up or cut up their faces and bodies in an attempt to achieve what they deem to be the ideal.
I am attempting with my sculpture to make a statement about learning acceptance of all of our imperfections while often exaggerating features and flaws in the body to let the viewer smile and recognize themselves in my “friends.”
I try to infuse my work with humor – making the figures seem to be a throw back to past generations when plastic surgery options weren’t so readily available. My “friends” are proud of who they are and how they look and almost dare the viewer to find fault in their appearances.
Last summer I sculpted “Too Rich and Too Thin,” my statement on a woman’s need to reverse the signs of aging through botox, fillers and ultimately plastic surgery to the point of looking bizarre. When is enough enough?
When I began sculpting my first large scale standing figure (Lillian), she was going to be an older woman in a bathing suit holding a towel up with both hands to hide her imperfect body, as if someone had walked up on her getting out of a pool. I did a small model first. Once I had finished sculpting her body and head on the armature and began to work on her arms, I realized she wasn’t embarrassed or ashamed. She was not hiding behind a towel, she was proud and questioning what someone was doing invading her space. That realization made me recognize my need for acceptance of my own imperfections.