“We over-focus on thinking in this culture and I think it’s a big problem. Conceptual art, which drives people to think more, is a manifestation of this over-intellectualness. My work is about the opposite. It’s about feeling and the senses”.
“I want my work to be a contribution on some level. It should not be trivial. I think having pottery in a living space makes a strong grounding statement about being in the physical world.“
Josh Herman’s process is one of discovery, interpretation, and gesture. Working with clay’s flexibility and limitations, Josh lets the material guide his decisions. Clean, bold lines, organic shapes, and balanced composition shows up in his smallest pots to his largest sculptures. Using intuition and guided by the mindfulness practice, Hakomi, Josh works to allow the clay to determine the form; he allows the piece to unfold into being. The end result is a combination of the language of the clay and Josh’s subconscious connection to the material.
The process is the thing for Josh Herman. He creates forms that elicit a visceral response, an emotion, rather than an intellection. He wants people to feel something, not think something when they discover his work. For Josh, the emotional response that his pottery and sculpture elicits is tied directly to his creation of the pieces.It’s an extension of his work.
Clay allows Josh to stay connected and rooted, and in turn, he wants his collectors and viewers to tap into the expressive and sensual nature of his forms through their senses, too.
Josh’s philosophy draws on Expressionism and a visceral relationship with nature. Josh’s work, process, and creative impetus are guided not by the cerebral realm, but by being in the body, by feeling and sensing versus thinking. He believes that we have lost our connection with the natural world, that we over-think everything—including art.
Josh uses clay as a vehicle for self-discovery and this is evident in his work. Sensual, organic, and tactile, his pottery and sculptures are a direct reflection of his perspective. Centered in the Hakomi tradition, an experiential, mindfulness-based therapy rooted in Taoism, allows Josh to stay focused on the work of drawing the form out of the clay. Josh embraces the accidental; flux and uncertainty are emblematic of the limitations of clay. Because of the difficulty of working with clay, Josh sees the often-unexpected results as some of his most creative moments. He believes that as the artist, he works in tandem with the clay and his signature glazes to create the final result. The artist as collaborator with his medium is central to his philosophy.
Josh’s work is a commentary on a more mindful way of living—a statement that he hopes will connect the public to their experiences, to feel and observe the world around them. In turn, he also hopes that his work gives viewers an opportunity to notice what they feel when in the presence of his vessels, objects, and sculptures. Expression, mindfulness, intuition, and sensuality are at the heart of Josh Herman’s philosophy and his work.