Inspirational poems, quotes and articles plastered the walls of Kirk Mangus' Kent State University ceramics studio. It fueled the former head of ceramics, who died last November, to constantly create. See more than 100 of the world-renowned artist's pieces — from simple porcelain dishes to head-shaped mugs — through Jan. 18 in Kirk Mangus: Things Love at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland. MOCA will also release a book of his writings this month. Eva Kwong, Mangus' widow and Kent State ceramics faculty member, offers insight into his penned works.
"Drawing and painting are devices for illustrating fears, exorcising prejudices and exercising demons. Ambiguity is not as tragic as it seems, considering interpretation is a matter of perspective."
— from "Drawing and Painting"
"As a teenager, [Kirk] was worried about being seen as his dad's kid," Kwong says. "What he's trying to say is that no matter what you put down, people might react differently."
"Art is an attitude. It becomes a fence and a friend. It becomes an anger. Sometimes it does not care."
— from "Artist Philosophy"
"He uses the fence in terms of defining something," Kwong says. "You can't talk about everything in the world with one piece."
"you work with your hands,
nothing is more beautiful,
intense or perplexing.
the computers of our minds veer into our systems and force us to compose."
— From "Poem to Sara K Mourton"
"It was encouragement for [his former student] Sara to get out and do something. He was a very prolific artist. He was always doing something," says Kwong. "Even when we were watching TV, he drew sketches."