Rona Pondick: Civilizing the Self in Sculpture Magazine
When asked about her influences, Rona Pondick tends to reply succinctly. “Kafka and my mother,” she will often state, but when pressed further she has only been known to elaborate on the former. In looking at the hybrid metal creatures for which Pondick is perhaps best known, Kafka’s influence—from Metamorphosis to his letters to his fiancée Felice—is not hard to see. The artist is drawn to the writer’s creativity, born from the mind of an emotionally troubled man: “His fantasy life was so great that he could describe America having never been here…he could understand emotional things and be so emotionally damaged,” she marvels.
But on the topic of her mother she is more reticent, held back by a deeply seated, complex feeling of what I suspect to be both love and fear for a woman with little love to give her children. Pondick’s mother, however, died in October of last year; and for the first time, the artist has been able to feel free of her shadow. Holding the mirror of influence up to her body of work, it becomes clear that the relationship between Kafka and Mother is closer than it initially appears.