Permanent CollectionSculpture

Joel Otterson

Joel Otterson

(Los Angeles, 1959 -)

Dog Bunny, 1991

mixed media chair

33 1/2 in. x 24 in. x 29 in.

Hot Rod Shaker Box (64 GTO), 1994

hand-painted ceramics

34 in. x 14 in. x 14 in.

Joel Otterson (born 1959 in Inglewood, CA) is an american artist based in Los Angeles. He is known for his experimentation with domestic and ornamental objects. Otterson looks to Baroque and Rococo art for inspiration and infuses his objects with elements of pop culture. Copper pipe, woodworking, pottery, porcelain, china, earthenware, concrete, marble, stained glass, quilting and lacemaking are the raw materials of Joel’s sculpture.  Utilizing practices such as sewing, and quilting, traditionally associated with feminine craft making, Joel turns these humble materials into muscular art.


Hot Rod Shaker Box is a reinvention of the traditional shaker boxes. This new object is created using clay that is hand-painted with an ornate, rococo-style design. The image of the vintage Pontiac GTO adds an element of masculinity to the otherwise “feminine” object. However, these seemingly contrasting elements combine to create a potent symbol of Americana, linking craft making with car-culture.


[description:] Round box with blue and green details on the bottom piece and the outline of the lid. In the center of the lid there is a blue Pontiac GTO. On the inside borders of the decorations in the lid, there is a gold outline.