In her decades-spanning practice and drawing from her Mexican cultural heritage, Nora Pineda’s complex ceramics tie together modern abstraction and ancient mythology in a wholly unique way. Inspired by her Mexican heritage, Pineda’s pieces incorporate characters that symbolize the way of life of Mexicans throughout the ages. She brings them to life with deep, undulating lines and stylized faces that are extremely expressive. Everything, from the amount of lines used to the size of their bodies, carries significance in the story each piece tells. Pineda uses a variety of finishes – matte, textured, glossy – and a palette that can either be turned up or muted depending on the narrative.
An important feature of Pineda’s pieces is that they are created in the round, with the piece truly operating as a three-dimensional object. These are not straight sculptures, but forms inspired by the traditional use of ceramics: the vessel. Pineda’s shapes come directly from altered forms and manipulation of clay, and many of these forms are even functioning vessels. This is another example of how the artist brings ancient tradition together with new aesthetic ideas.
Pineda was born in Bakersfield, California and has been extremely active in the California art scene for many years. She has also won several prestigious awards for her work.