Ren Lee

Ceramic Sculptor – Not A Potter.

Mom was an art director from Spokane. Dad was an architect raised in south Texas. They raised five contentious kids in the fecund sauna that is the lower Rio Grande Valley and the whole time I was a kid my mom was mad as hell that she wound up in a place so dang sweaty. I grew up with lots of art supplies and books and lived in my own head when I wasn’t squabbling with my siblings. TV was verboten unless it was the news or something high brow (mom had standards) and we only had two channels anyway: Walter Cronkite and Huntley & Brinkley. We played outside, in the mud and in the tall grass – catching snakes and cicadas and horny toads and the occasional baby bird. On weekends we often went to Benson Wildlife Refuge in search of more exotic birds: chachalacas, green jays, and orioles. Food was spicy, people were gentle, and the storms and sunsets were always spectacular.

Today I spend most of my time playing with mud—it’s an activity that promotes meditation—and I’m drawn back to the fairy tales of my youth, amplified by a lifetime of learning about culture, history, psychology and art. Still very much preoccupied with what goes on in my own head, my sculpture reflects my obsession with paranormal ideas, the creatures of human imagination, and archetypes of the divine.

What connects us to immortality? How does the course of consciousness weave through the brief lights of human experience? What is magic? What is real? I still don’t watch much TV unless it’s some kind of fairy tale like Game of Thrones or Outlander, so it seems that early preoccupation has stuck. And when I run out of a bag of clay, the bits and ends become birds.