Conrad Atkinson, ‘Aesthetics Can Be a Pretty Ugly Business’, 2016, Ronald Feldman Fine Arts

Photo: Casey Dorobek

About Conrad Atkinson

Conrad Atkinson’s sculptures, paintings, drawings, and public artworks are explicitly political, addressing the suffering of everyday people: miners, AIDS victims, and people poisoned by asbestos contamination, among others. “I try to let my pieces deal with shared contemporary issues of scale and importance, in the forms of land mines, of AIDS, and our real wounds,” he explains. His best-known work is a series of ceramic sculptures based on land mines, which he decorates with gold and pink glazes, often including reproductions of famous artworks on their cylindrical bodies. Similar to artists such as Komar & Melamid, Atkinson uses technical skill and older visual idioms to comment on the ideological power structures of our time.

British, b. 1940, Cumbria, United Kingdom