Sasha Feldman – William J. O’Brien


Ki Smith Gallery is thrilled to present Clayjà Vu, a two person exhibition featuring artists Sasha Feldman and William J. O’Brien. Clayjà Vu is an exploration of memory, pre-adolescent innocence and friendship, articulated through a collection of both figurative and abstract ceramic sculptures. Sasha and O’Brien’s works lie at the intersection of fiction, fantasy, sci-fi and punk, with certain works in a language punctuated by a playfulness found in the land of misfit toys, and other works in a futuristic dialect referencing a formality and hypnotic curiosity found in antiquities. Both artists have been deeply immersed in the medium for over a decade and share an unparalleled dedication, appreciation and devotion towards ceramics while still holding on to a playfulness and rebelliousness that can often be lost to the technical processes of the medium. Through experimental glazes, freedom from traditional form and a fearless appetite to explore both Sasha and O’Brien push the boundaries of the medium into a place that references the familiar while simultaneously breaking it down, giving you a feeling of having already dreamed something that is currently being experienced.


Clayjà Vu is also a story of friendship, inspiration, persistence and reuniting. In 2009 Sasha Feldman walked into a ceramic elective at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago that then rookie professor William J. O’Brien was teaching. An immediate kinship was formed that ended up pushing Sasha to major in ceramics. Despite the medium not being nearly as popular as it has now become, both artist’s were dedicated to their practices and have separately reached some of the highest achievements possible in their field. O’Brien became the chair of the ceramic department at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago as well as building a long exhibition history internationally while also mentoring artists. Sasha established a ceramic studio in Manhattan as well as built a robust national and international showing history. Now over a decade after first meeting Sasha and O’Brien are linking back up to pay homage to their friendship, dedication and parallel visions.