Eric Serritella is a ceramic trompe l’oeil artist specializing in hand-carved sculptures transformed into birch, charred and weathered logs. Clay found him in 1996 when he took a hobby pottery class to find a new creative outlet and bring more balance to a busy corporate career.
“I expected to simply discover an enjoyable pastime. Instead, clay dug its way into my very core.”
He began a functional pottery production business in effort to follow clay's calling and to bring a new spirit and satisfaction to his work life.
Serritella has a BA in Communication from Ithaca College. He also studied art history there and in London. His primary applied art training came in the form of two artist residencies studying with Ah Leon and clay masters in Taiwan. It was there that he was taken with the historic Yixing teapots, introduced to the Japanese wabi philosophy, and began his trompe l’oeil explorations.
As a result, Serritella’s one-of-a-kind sculptures are internationally recognized for their hyper-realism, and have been exhibited, awarded and collected on five continents for their exquisite organic design and incredibly lifelike textures. They are included in many permanent museum collections including among others The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Carnegie Museum of Art, and the Mint Museum.
Serritella has contributed to over 100 exhibitions and has been represented at some of the world’s top art and design shows including TEFAF Maastricht (Netherlands), Frieze NY, Design Miami/Basel (Switzerland), Design Miami (Florida), The Salon: Art + Design (NY), Masterpiece London, SOFA Chicago and The Smithsonian Craft Show.
A 2013 cataloged solo show at Jason Jacques Gallery in New York City led to additional international recognition. He was honored by the James Renwick Alliance as the 2016 Distinguished Artist in ceramics at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. And in 2017 was featured as the solo artist with Jason Jacques Gallery as the first ceramics gallery to be invited to the prestigious Frieze NY art fair.
His 2018 solo show at Jason Jacques Gallery was recommended in the NY Times and he has received positive acclaim by Architectural Digest and renowned art critic/historian Daniella Ohad. Works have appeared on the covers of AmericanStyle and Pottery Making Illustrated, and in the pages of Ceramics Monthly, American Art Collector, Modern, NICHE, American Craft, Clay Times, The Crafts Report, Design 360º (China), Ceramic Art (Taiwan), Lark Books’ 500 Teapots, Volume 2, as well as in several other books and calendars on ceramic art.
Each piece Serritella makes begins as a blank piece of clay. He uses wheel throwing, slab building and hand building techniques to create his expressive forms. All the texture and details are hand carved and no molds are used. After applying ceramic oxides for accent colors, the pieces are fired to over 2,100º Fahrenheit.
Art is the story of my subconscious as told by my hands. Art serves as an arena for connection, resonance, and reverberation. Thus, I create each sculpture as a conduit to emotion through inquiry, recognition and familiarity.
With my trompe l'oeil ceramic works I challenge the viewer with both the nature of the material and the messages within. Forms are completely hand-built and hand-carved with hyper-realistic textures transformed into charred logs, weathered wood and birch trees - the angels of the forest.
Through aging and decay, I explore how nature maintains its splendors with tenacity and triumphs of existence, despite the disregard we humans show her. I appreciate how ceramic mirrors the environment's fragility and durability - easily damaged if disrespected and yet invincible in its inherent beauty and longevity.
Each organic creation fosters awareness and influences viewer behavior toward the environment. Through this consciousness, viewers acquire new appreciations and ways of seeing, and can thus choose to walk with softer steps.