Elegance and Whimsy in Tyler Hays’s “Corner Urinal”

Deviating from our standard associations with urinals— Duchamp and The Men’s Room among them— Tyler Hays has brought his off-beat charm to our selection for this year’s benefit with his piece, Corner Urinal. This hand-sculpted piece, which takes on the silhouette of a urinal, is delicately hand painted with blue florals and ranchers, patterns you might more commonly find on heirloom china. Hays’s departure from the common medium— a bowl, a vase, perhaps a mug— allows the urinal to become a brazen-faced art piece, one which carries with it both excellent craftsmanship and a tinge of humor. 

Corner Urinal, Tyler Hays

Founder of BDDW design with storefronts in New York City and Milan, and kilning out of Philadelphia, Tyler Hays is a reputable ceramicist, whose style of monochromatic painting and ceramic design are delivered once again in Corner Urinal. Hays prides himself in bringing the Philadelphia locale into his work, in some ways quite literally, as he sourced much of his clay for his earlier ceramics projects from a Frankford Avenue “clay pit.” This seems a common theme within his work—the connection between the maker and the made, between the environment and the work produced within it— and so, with an urban setting for this collection, this urinal, among others, blends much of the ordinary and the unexpected (art in strange places is not an uncommon happening in most any city landscape), and is designed with a raw, truly handcrafted appearance, which speaks to Hay’s own style, as well as the idea of a city as a whole: crafted by its people, with raw-edges and grit, coming together into something which, in its finished stages, appears delicate, artful, and distinctly elegant. 

His established and acclaimed modus operandi are not lost on this urinal, but are instead highlighted, as he sheds new light on a common bathroom fixture, and delivers his unique style on an unexpected medium.

You can bid on Hays’s Corner online and in-person (by appointment) at InLiquid’s 2021 Benefit from April 7th-11th! 

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