Calvin Ma

Back Seat Driver

San Francisco, CA
Handbuilt stoneware, underglaze, stains

“I explore the subject of social insecurity through a personal perspective. I utilize the action figure format in my sculptural work to explore my own issues and struggles with social anxiety. As an adult, I face difficulties in our social environment. Meeting new people, being in the company of strangers, being in crowds or with peers, and intermittently being among friends and family, brings a heightened nervousness that takes over and impedes my ability to function socially. As a child I was reserved and apprehensive, so I turned to toys to keep me entertained. I believe the tactile activity of playing with them coupled with my active imagination helped establish this passion for the action figure early on. There was something about picking up your favorite hero or villain and creating stories and adventures about them that captivated me. It felt only natural to tap into this childlike sense of exploration and storytelling through my artwork. This particular work speaks to how pets can sometimes run the household!” Calvin Ma has a BA degree in industrial arts from San Francisco State University and a MFA in sculpture from the Academy of Art University. His award-winning work has been exhibited extensively on the West Coast. Ma’s work is published in 500 Figures in Clay by Lark Books.