Like his canvases, Roger Herman’s ceramics harmonize a cacophony of styles. Shifting between abstraction and figuration, vivid palettes and dark hues, glossy surfaces and matte earth tones, Herman’s work is united by a gestural rawness and spontaneous vibrancy. Primitive and tribal iconographic references hidden beneath explicit gestural layers. Drips of paint run down both the interior and exterior of his vessels, whose sides are sharply cut with irregular peepholes and freckled nubs of glaze that lend a haptic sensuality. The only prevailing constant in his work is the randomness of choice, the embrace of chance with an inexhaustible curiosity for the renewing nature of the painting process in itself.
Among the variety of imageries used, the human body is pervasive, whether it’s the recurring vanitas motif of the skull, the bodily shape of the vessel, or painted faces with protruding noses or ears. Their imminent physicality also reflects the corporeal act of painting and building up the clay. The painted figures and faces call to mind ancient cave paintings and, just like them, they leave their mark and emphasize the present moment in their vivid materiality