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Robert Snyder



Robert Snyder is a ceramicist who has exhibited in New York, been published in venues such as Tera Verna and Artsy Shark, and has worked as an art professor, lecturer, and curator at many institutions such as The Cloisters and School of Visual Arts in New York City. He has served as executive creative director or on the board of directors for various creative outlets such as the American Advertising Federation.





Robert started his career as a painter until he graduated with an MFA at Pratt Institute where he turned his focus and passion to pottery. Although, his fashion plate series encompasses painting more than ceramics, so he did not abandon painting entirely. He works in four formats of “perpetual” vases, fashion plates, tea pots, and canteens.





The vase series remains quite minimalistic and often portrays either neutral or bright, almost neon cool tones. There seems to be a bridge between tradition and contemporary elements. While many of the pieces could be seen in a contemporary art gallery, some of the pieces come off as regal. One could imagine some of the elegant pieces belonging to a noble family or even royalty, placed in a palace or historical dining area. One piece in particular which notes such an observation can be referred to the green vase included in the article. The richness of the greens in subtle variation with a sensual, romanticized shape conveys opulence. Such as the case with the other vase pieces such as the richly-toned turquoise vessel.





As we move on to the fashion plates, Robert’s training as a painter shines brightest through these studies in beauty. The painted plates depict pretty models flashing sensual facial expressions and poses. They are portrayed with high contrast, deep red lipstick, and selective cropping. Central focus remains on the eyes and lips compositionally, often with most of the head cropped out. These post-modern women are seductive and know they look good, contained in the not so subtle-hint on their passionate faces. The plates offer a circular canvas, so to speak, accentuating the focus on the faces with minimal background except the natural framing of the pottery.




Robert’s tea pots and canteens can range between industrial and minimal. Some of the tea pots and canteens look like industrial punk designs or the personal teapot of a welder who turned his or her personal blow torch into a pouring apparatus. Some of the forms come off as celestial with neutral tones and nominal design elements. There remains little fluff or excess in these works. Simple and to the point. Although many of the pieces have non-ergonomic, ornamental-designed handles, suggesting these are works of art before they are tools. 




The varied body of work remains an esteemed and unique take on pottery as a fine art rather than a craft. These elegant designs and illusions celebrate contemporary beauty and offer a transfer between tradition and the evolution of fine arts. Robert Snyder’s work contains refreshing takes on industrialization, fashion, regality, elegance, and minimalism.














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