No. 88: The Carnal Cup. He made a clumsy ceramic cup, big and oafish. It took him weeks, and required 500 pounds of clay. He had to fire it in sections. Building it was clearly obsessive. It wasn’t so much the bravado of its making that seized him, though he found the technical difficulties he encountered to be more bracing than bothersome. Rather, it had more to do with the anthropological eroticism it exemplified. The big cup was a continuation of a long line of ancient votive vessels—from Late Archaic Greece (c.480 B.C.), for example, and from the explicit Moche ceramics of Peru—that offered an in-flagrante-delicto world. His showed a couple fucking in the bottom of the cup. In a normally scaled cup, you’d encounter them as you drained the last of the liquid. Here, with this huge, empurpled cup, you had to peer over the side to see them—like looking into a tide-pool. His cup thus added voyeurism to its list of transgressions.

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