New York – Kuwait City, 2012
Based on the practice of using Meissen Porcelain as diplomatic exchange gifts by European Courts during the eighteenth century, this body of work is a contemporary and personalized reexamination of the diplomatic gift exchange tradition as form of relationship building. The exhibition highlights the role ceramics played in gift exchanges to form relationships, and Sanguino creates groups of ceramic works that range from utilitarian shapes—pitchers, bowls, plates, cups, containers, etc.—to decorative forms such as vessels, sculptures, and figurines. The ceramics are simple shapes and have little to no recognizable imagery; instead the surfaces are abstract and graffiti-like with elements of collage and assemblage. Organized into groups based on type, the ceramics will be displayed on wooden shipping crates at different levels to resemble the unloading of shipping cargo.
Over the past twenty years, Sanguino has collected miscellaneous items that were given to him, including greeting cards, gifts, souvenirs, photos, and clothes. With the passage of time, these items have gained significance and have become his personal memorabilia, documenting specific moments from these years of his life. As a whole, the collection represents the many and diverse relationships he formed during this time, and the objects, therefore, are the material manifestation of the meanings of these relationships. The objects are some of his most prized possessions, making them an ideal source of inspiration for this body of work.
To create the ceramics, Sanguino scans and digitally preserves the original items then sorts them by kind and color to print them on malleable material. The malleable material is then applied—in the form of woven rope, collage, and assemblage—to the ceramic surfaces. The adhesion of the material to the ceramics adds color and texture to the works, challenging the traditional appearance of ceramics. With their amalgamation of references to gifts he received displayed on the surfaces, the works become Sanguino's personal artifacts and testimonials to his relationships with others.
In order to commemorate the relationships that inspired the body of work, every piece from the exhibition will be digitally catalogued and posted on a web page or blog where basic personal information about the maker/giver and acquirer/recipient will be recorded.
A graduate of the School of Visual Arts Cristobal Rojas in Caracas, Venezuela, Sanguino specialized in ceramics during his studies there. This body of work demonstrates his exploration of the medium and its capacity for personalization and ability to memorialize meaningful moments in his life.