Ron Dahline Essay
Ron Dahline is one of the most interestingly outrageous artists I have seen. Ever since I convinced my parents to purchase on of his pieces, after seeing it in one of his galleries in Florida, I’ve admired his work. All of Dahline’s pottery is terrifying but also has a sense of humor to it. I feel as though he lets out his inner demon whenever he creates a piece. Dahline uses mostly dark colors in his pottery to complement their Gothic style. Dahline creates horrific faces but puts the wildest looks on them.
His artwork is mostly on jugs and mugs which isn’t practical because it is quite unsightly to see an ugly, terrifyingly realistic demon head when pouring a jug of water or drinking a cup of coffee. His pieces are also quite fragile due to how intricate his work is, but to make his art functional he makes it dishwasher safe. So if you really wanted to you could actually use Dahline’s art in everyday life. If I personally owned his art I would use it in everyday life simply because it would be completely out of the norm and that’s what I view as clever and interesting.
The piece I chose of Dahline’s for this essay is a four legged, mean faced alligator type jug with two ell like snakes slithering on his back. The long snout of the alligator, with its jagged, peal white teeth and quivering lips clearly appears to be growling. The alligator is growling at and maybe even about to bite something above it according to the piercing look in his blue and green eyes. The pair of snakes and alligator all seem to be looking in the same direction. They give off the sense that they are all on the same team and preparing to attack some sort of prey.
I think it must be prey because they don’t seem to be intimidated, and the grin on the snakes faces don’t make them look like they are about to attack in self defense. The smile on the right snake is almost a taunting smile which make this piece very interesting to me. The left snake appears to have a slight smile but seems to be more curious and investigating towards the object it’s looking at. The eyes of the snakes are come off very mysterious being completely black and having no pupils. They give off a sense of darkness and death. The nakes bodies are striped red and black and they have swaying neon green and black striped spikes on their heads. This makes them look poisonous and like they shouldn’t be messed with. The green and black spikes remind me of the mythical Greek monster Medusa. The eyes on the alligator are also very intriguing because of their mix of light green and blue. The appearance is so realistic but the colors are abstract for a pair of eyes. I really admire Dahline’s clay eye and mouth making techniques because they look so real. The alligator has lion like legs and paws with sharp claws that give it a very intimidating and powerful stance.
I find this to be an interesting mix of deadly animals. Dahline chose to use a mix of blue, green and a light faded beige on the body of the alligator to give it a dark, cold, and worn appearance. Ron Dahline’s artwork is extremely unique in its own crazy, abstract, Gothic, and humorous way. He really knows how to bring his pottery to life and scare but intrigue his viewer. I have never seen a style like his and hope to see his influence on other artists in the future. His work is geared towards weird and abnormal tastes and really interested me. I hope to one day buy one of his pieces for my home just as my parents did.