José M. Flores Nava is an Orange County based artist. He was born in Mexico and moved to California at age twelve. While interest in visual arts came at an early age, it was not until college that he decided to pursue art as a field of study. Using a combination of ceramic hand building techniques and slip cast objects, he creates sculptures that are reflections of immigrant labor. He focuses on the relationship between the undocumented community, products of labor and familiar objects that we often take for granted. Jose Flores Nava holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts and recently obtained a Master of Fine Arts from California State University Fullerton. He is a DACA recipient and an educator. Places he has exhibited include, Grand Central Art Center, Irvine Fine Arts Center, the American Museum of Ceramic Art, Riverside Art Museum, ALMA’S RVA, and Brea Gallery.
As a potter, it’s my job to give meaning to the vessel. Vessels that are used as a substitute to the human body; vessels that resemble outdoor utilitarian objects; or vessels that echo the phrase “farm to table.”
As an immigrant, it’s my duty to use my voice to speak about the undocumented laborer. The laborer that grows, picks and cooks your food. The laborer that went from being “low-skilled” to “essential.” The laborer that fits the general consensus that undocumented immigrants do the jobs Americans don’t want to do. The laborer that is talked about using statistics rather than their humanity. The laborer that gets left out from a lot of conversations.
As a maker, I chose to make slip-cast vegetables in order to remove the familiar produce we know. Produce cast with red and brown clay; the colors that sustains us all. Produce brightly painted to make their presence known.
Every handmade piece at Alma’s is a story of its craft.