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 James Budde  

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Lived/Active: Idaho/California/Illinois      Known for: satirical, political themed teapot sculpture, educator

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Ad Code: 3
James Jim Budde
Magic Act
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Brumfield LLC:
Jim Budde is known both for his politically charged satirical pieces and for his more stylized teapot sculptures. He draws both from popular culture and classic literature. He sees himself as an illustrator in clay rather than a narrative sculptor. He likes the prerequisite boundaries and technical obstacles this approach imposes on the way in which he approached each new work.

When taking his start from a current event, well-known personality, cultural icon or literary reference, the illustrative nature of his composition is strongest. When working more from imagination the works become more about form and other sculptural concerns.

Budde received his MFA at California State University and went on to teach art in Southern California.  He is currently a Professor of Art at Boise State University, Idaho.

Public collections of his work include the Peabody Essex Museum, Fine Art Museums of San Francisco, Boise Art Museum, and the Sparta Teapot Museum. 

Honors and awards include 2006 Boise State University's College of Arts and Sciences award for distinguished creative activity in the arts and humanities, and in 2005 a Visual Arts Fellowship Grant from the Idaho Commission on the Arts.

Artist Statement:

"Politics is everywhere; there can be no escape into the realms of pure art and thought, or for that matter, into the realm of disinterested objectivity or transcendental theory (Edward Said (1993: 16))

In the autumn of 2004, shortly before the U.S. presidential election and in the middle of a typically bloody month in Iraq, The New York Times Magazine ran a feature article on the casualty of truth in the Bush administration. In a soon-to-be-infamous passage, the writer, Ron Suskind, recounted a conversation between himself and an unnamed senior adviser to the president:

The aide said that guys like me were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernable reality.’ I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ‘That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you are studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.’

It was clear how the Times felt about this peek into the political mind of the presidency. The editors of the Gray Lady pulled out the passage and floated it over the article in over-sized, multi-colored type. This was ideological gold: the Bush administration openly and arrogantly admitting that they didn’t care about reality.

During a sabbatical in 2002 at Boise State University where I teach ceramics, I began working on sculptures of historical people.  Initially they were dead people who were both famous and infamous.  They included musicians, some of my favorite people, and politicians, not so favorite.  Both groups share within the core of their seemingly disparate avocations what I consider the hopeful promise of art, that of transforming one’s perception of life for the better. Recently, I suppose by providence, I’ve focused on the current political spectrum.

One of my favorite recent thoughts was by Tim Russert, who said roughly in an interview, “I try to master the issues to the point that I’m totally confused by what I think.”  Perhaps this is a strength or weakness of a liberal mind, but regardless of one’s political affiliations, I want the work to change the viewer’s thoughts and offer an alternate and unpredictable perspective."

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