Media File
David Gilhooly
Date: American ceramicist and printmaker, 1943−2013
Biography: David Gilhooly attended University of California, Davis, for both his undergraduate and graduate degrees. While there he worked alongside fellow artists Robert Arneson, Margaret Dodd, and William T. Wiley in TB-9, or Temporary Building Number 9, the ceramics and sculpture studio on campus. In May 1967, an exhibition was organized by Peter Selz and presented at UC Berkeley. The show, titled simply, Funk, consisted of humorous objects and referenced Dada, Surrealism, and the work of Pop artists such as Claes Oldenburg. The title of the exhibition inspired the term for these west coast experiments in clay.

As part of the Funk Ceramic movement, Gilhooly began to create FrogWorld—a mythological place based loosely on the history of ancient Egypt—that parodies American culture. The artist explains that in this world there are “various disguises of Osiris, for in the frog world, rather than just being a vegetable god, he was also an accomplished performer and opener of supermarkets, and a blesser of gardens.” In addition to the complex narrative that is FrogWorld, Gilhooly often makes art historical references in his work, constructing FrogAdam (in reference to Michelangelo's work) and Rape of the Sabine Frogs. In the early 1980s, Gilhooly began creating assemblages and utilizing Plexiglas.