Bonsai at Casa Perfect

Jonathan Cross & Ryan Neil Los Angeles May 8 - May 31, 2018

The Future Perfect debuted a collection of one-of-a-kind bonsai pieces, a collaboration between ceramicist Jonathan Cross, and bonsai visual artist, Ryan Neil of Bonsai Mirai. This is the artists first time collaborating and The Future Perfect’s first exhibition in it’s latest residential space, Casa Perfect.

Jonathan Cross is a ceramicist who utilizes an ancient wood-firing technique to create objects and abstract vessels that suggest ancient geological forms reinterpreted for a modern world. Cross divides his time between his studio in Pasadena and his wood kiln located in the desert community of Twentynine Palms, California.

Ryan Neil is a bonsai professional, visual artist and entrepreneur who is reshaping the world’s understanding of bonsai from a technical hobby to a fine art medium. In 2010, after an apprenticeship in Japan, Ryan founded Bonsai Mirai in Portland, Oregon.

In this groundbreaking collection, the two artists explore living sculpture coexisting with physical ceramic sculpture. The pieces evoke feelings of delicate ancient artifacts and result in a range of scale and complexity. Ryan explains that each tree was modified to accommodate the rustic and geometric aesthetic of Jonathan’s vessels.

“You truly are meshing living sculpture with physical ceramic sculpture and really touching on aspects of compatibility in the aesthetic of the two mediums and how they correlate or interact or relate. Not only in form, not only in mass, not only in dimensionality but in color, texture and also in context.” Says Neil.




Jonathan Cross never set out to become a ceramic artist. After receiving his BFA from the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas, he relocated to Los Angeles where he worked at the prestigious Gemini G.E.L. print shop. During this five year period, Cross refined his strong graphic sensibility and worked with some of the biggest names in contemporary art, including Richard Serra, Joel Shapiro, and Ann Hamilton.

The art world was calling and Cross changed gears once he rediscovered a love for working with clay. Initially, he began by making planters for his collection of rare and unusual cacti and succulents. He jumped at the chance to work with acclaimed ceramic artist Don Reitz, which inspired the artist to pursue a MFA at Arizona State University. The postgraduate degree offered an immersion into ceramics and the fundamentals of clay, kilns as well as the necessities of running a professional studio.

Cross gravitated to the ancient process of wood-firing, which gives each piece a patina that evokes ancient artifacts, old stone structures or discarded post apocalyptic future relics. The artist’s point of view – one very much of the art world – was complemented by the technique and he began producing a wide range of visually rich objects, from functional vessels to purely abstract forms.

The vessels produced by Jonathan Cross Studio suggest simple minimalist containers that draw on the artist’s interest in geology, science fiction and modern art. Sculptural pieces, bold and primitive in their forms, combine a modern sensibility with a sense of textural materiality. Today, Cross’ printmaking background is still evident in his pieces, which favor strong silhouettes, hard edge lines and repetitive leitmotif. “I like to say that my work is intuitive and not really preplanned,” the artist says. “In the studio my intuition is informed by my subconscious which I curate by the books I read, shows I watch and art that I appreciate. Drawing is another way that I think about my work.”