By Angela Romeo
The beauty of simplicity lies in its complexities. Such is the case with Artist Kevin Nierman’s work, Vertimo.
Vertimo, a named derived from the kinetic energy, vertical with motion, that responds to external influence, is a series of hollow clay spheres infused with permanent stain, not a ceramic glaze. Strung on a steel wire each sphere creates a rung, Each rung provides symmetry and balance that, relying on opposing forces, causes each rung to work in sync to create a multi-tiered sculpture of a singular nature. Complex? Yes. Simple? Yes.
But Vertimo did not just spring to life. It is part of the journey of Kevin’s creativity.
Kevin was a child of the 60’s. His mother, a recognized artist in her own right, encouraged him to paint and repaint the walls of his bedroom, build sculptures throughout the house and experiment with all kinds of wall decorations. He pursued his studies at the Colson School of Art in 1977.
Kevin is also an artist, teacher, and in 1998, founded Kids ‘n Clay Pottery Studio in Berkeley. He created Kids ‘n Clay as am environment for children to explore their creativity while learning the craft of ceramics. Kids ‘n Clay has been recognized for its innovative approach to learning and the arts. Kevin recently sold Kids ‘n Clay when he moved full time to Palm Springs.
Kevin’s approach to his work was not always traditional. His work has incorporated demolition and rebuilding of his pieces. Purposeful destruction is reminiscent of the Persian rug weavers who always left a purposeful “error.” Kevin’s cracked pots follow in that tradition only in as much as the imperfection is part of the art. His pots were not seen as imperfect but as part of the journey of life. Rising above the destruction is a symbolic represented of the imperfection of life. The ability to rise against the challenges that would suppress one’s spirit is represented in the strength and beauty that exists in Nierman’s restructured pieces.
Kevin’s mastery of the complex simplicity is also seen in his dwelling or hut series. “I believe that these creations reflect how all of the peoples of the world are truly one, and that we all have one key commonality – that our dwellings and basic utensils are both important to our daily existence, but also that they represent who we are as inhabitants of this earth. Knowing that each and every one of the dwellings on this planet holds untold stories of survival, love and of their inhabitants is humbling,” said Kevin.
It is from this trajectory that Vertimo claims its roots. Mastery of the simple and depth of complexity – welcome to the art of Kevin Nierman. For more about Kevin visit www.kidsnclay.com.