PHANTASMAGORIA

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Phantasmagoria: A bizarre or fantastic combination, collection, or assemblage.

 

I slid down the tongue of a giant monster and emerged exultant. The monster was a play structure by Niki de Sainte Phalle called “Golem”. I have since created my own whimsical artworks in order to spark that same thrill. The sculptures in this exhibit are inspired by Saint Phalle in pursuit of that excitement. I am as thrilled moving through a gigantic sculpture as I am when making a piece of art that delights me. These are the sort of feelings that have been quashed by the pandemic. These are the sort of feelings that art can restore. 

 

These works are part of a series called “Phantasmagoria.” They have evolved from earlier coiled sculptures that evoked letterforms and primitive symbols. With the addition of organic shapes and detailed patterns, these pieces started to resemble lifelike characters. Each sculpture appears to be transitioning from an abstract form into an animated figure. This metamorphosis can summon thoughts of mythology and contemporary tales. 

The forms and patterns could only be created in encaustic wax, a versatile medium that has enchanted me for over a dozen years. It's a very process-driven medium, like cooking but better. The sculptures are made almost entirely of this beeswax and resin material, although some pieces contain clay and wire armatures. The colorful patterns are made from encaustic paint which is a pigmented version of this medium. All elements are combined with heat. I am pushing the limits of the materials I use to give an identity to my constructions. 

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