About The Artwork
The French title Requin, coupled with the locations listed on the back of this object (Taurinya and Perpignan) suggests that it was decorated and fired in France. Shaped like the ubiquitous Spanish tapas plate called a cazuela, however, this object reflects its liminal geography. Perpignan sits just northeast of the border of Spain, in close proximity to Catalonia, and at various points in its history the city has been considered the most Catalan area of France.
The shark is shown with stylized dorsal and caudal fins as well as a large expressive eye and teeth. Outlined uniformly in thick black lines that are echoed on the rim and the handles, the shark leaps out of the water creating an arc that reinforces the round contour of the plate. Highlights of pale, watery blue and white offset the stone gray background. The lively waves together with the thrashing beast produce a highly decorative, dynamic object.
Assistant Professor, Frederik Meijer Honors College, Grand Valley State University