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Artist Statement

Cheryl Tall, "The Phoenician Couple ",

2011, detail, 38x18x27", ceramic, glaze,

slip, oxides and terra sigillata

                                                Cheryl Tall

                                               Artist Statement


Cheryl Tall’s surrealistic comic-tragic tableaus invite the viewer into a world dynamically and intentionally at odds with itself.  Tall’s works are created from a stream of consciousness, revealing her tweaked sensibilities and humorous sense of irony. Narrative and journalistic, it is inspired by ancient art, travel, mythology, pop culture, folk art, and expressionist paintings.

Her work often unites architectural and figurative images, portraying the house as dwelling, shelter, temple, dynasty, prison, castle, fortress, retreat, or nest. By using windows as eyes, shingles as hair, and heads topped with an animal or an house, Tall animates the piece and gives it personality.

Tall’s work fuses storybook illustration with surrealism and medieval folk art. She deals with global issues by posing pop culture references against 12th century characters. Influenced by renaissance paintings, Tall’s works portray multiple figures in close proximity, exploring the tensions and strengths inherent in today’s society.

The pop surrealist influence gives her work an engaging and dreamlike quality. By using meticulous clay techniques to create a complex surface, such as pinching, coiling, stacking, carving, stamping, scraffito, applique and color layering, Tall draws the viewer in.

Like messengers from an ancient tale, Tall’s sculptures and paintings beckon us to come closer and closer, so that they might tell us their story.


Copyright 2015 Cheryl Tall Art Studio,

San Diego, CA

All rights reserved