Stashu Smaka

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    I've been making art and buying art for over 50 years, during and after I got my BFA in sculpture at Wayne State University, in Detroit Michigan in 1976. I lived in Manhattan and Brooklyn, NY from 1977 to 2003, Portland Oregon from 2003 to 2018, and now live on the Oregon coast at Oceanside, Oregon. I have substantial collections in Modern art, African textile art and Chinese ceramics and art objects.

    I came to be an avid collector of Chinese vases and other Chinese and Far Eastern art objects because, being informed by my own explorations of 2-D and 3-D media as an artist, I admired the long history of Chinese artists applying two dimensional forms to three dimensional objects. In this, they have no peer, having invented, nourished and practiced this unique art form for several thousand years. Indeed, the first Western attraction and involvement with these unique Chinese artforms began with the opening of the Silk Road and subsequent European imports beginning in the 16th century, resulting in a Continental mania for all things Chinese porcelain; one historical overview observed that by the late 1600's there were 2 million Chinese porcelain objects in England, a nation of only 6 million people at that time.

    In forming my collection, I consider the quality of workmanship, the use of Chinese historical shapes, natural forms and religious imagery, the presence of the artwork, and it's provenance and age, insofar as it is indicated by reign marks, and other indications, apocryphal or otherwise. The use of apocryphal marks on Chinese ceramics can also be an homage to the historical style of the art object, consistent with its imagery, and a testament to its quality of production.