gunpowder, acrylic, gold leaf, wood_ 36″x 48″x 5″

A new direction based primarily on some architectural theory I have been reading. I have been using this pattern for a while, but more recently the idea of architectural fidelity and the space it protects/forms have become something I see as a political manifestation. I am referring to it as the “politics of the void.” (2 previous works dealing with this topic are Incursion I and II.)

I have become interested in how much effort/power it takes to stabilize vacuousness, how architecture is part of the constructed stability of space and yet, interior design and temes tend to disrupt/distract the space itself to present a more socialized view of this power discourse. Dealing not only with the forces that attract towards the void, I have attempted to symbolize the restraining architecture, essentially highlighting the warping of space by presenting stability. The singed edges of the circle are a physical manifestation of this power, at once exploding outward, expelling, as the vacuum pulls discourse ever inward. (In black holes or gravitational fields they call this edge an event horizon, where escape is impossible.)

In many ways this is about interdependance. The forms rely on each other to create a dynamic form of tension, stabilizing on their own power and continual interaction. I am simply trying to visually represent this complex set of symbiotic forces.

* Since winter 2010 I have been painting a bright color on the backside of my works. This allows for a glow of color to reflect onto the wall in order  to mingle with the shadows. It is part of “Attraction” but is also noticeable on “Fulfilling the Void“, “Disruption/Seduction“, and “Connected: Laocoon.”


Pattern and Guns

"MG08_sledge i" gunpowder, graphite, and goldleaf on paper, 2010, 22x15in

I found a guy online who makes custom pistol grips with baroque patterning.

This is bizarre, but it seems to be common that men decorate their instruments of death. In an attempt to embrace this patterning as a way to romanticize a weapon I have incorporated pattern into my new piece.

The commentary on patterning as a way to dissolve or fracture a space (often  through beauty) is a fascinating outlook that parallels socialized violence and the structure that it inhabits.

Update _ PART II :: The more I present this idea of floral or organic patterning the more references appear… The Victorian era of glorified stag hunts in Europe, baroque art and framing, the patterning found on a dollar bill, the gilded decorations of architecture, and wallpaper/tapestry from all eras. BUT, most importantly for me, the parallel to Illuminated manuscripts with the decorative imagery abstracting the symbols while imbuing them with beauty, obsession, and power.

Update_ PART III :: Strangely enough, I haven’t discussed the feminine aspect. Many weapons have a phallic nature or shape (spears, arrows, rifles, etc…) and I would hazard to guess that more men own and use guns than women ( though I have not researched this). Based on that premise, why would a man decorate his weapon with vines and organic plant patterning? My first thought is that beautification is a balancing attempt. It is a way to focus on life/nature rather than the purpose or intent of the weapon. Maybe it is a belated attempt to square violent death with nature: a way to subconsciously disguise from himself the unnatural power that comes from wielding a gun.


.243 Trajectory_ 24″x48″_ gunpowder, graphite, gold leaf, white acrylic on wood panel.

The title  comes from the gunpowder curve, which is based on the trajectory of a bullet shot from a .243 Remington rifle. (y axis= 1″ = 2″ of drop, x axis= 1″ =10 yards)

This is the first in a series of pieces based on ideas of how one might achieve salvation within a culture of honor. I am currently questioning how male youth finds presidence for behavior based on the examples set by one’s culture. What are the values in the system and how does one achieve them? Once the desired values are achieved is salvation still a viable option?

.270 Trajectory_ 32″x48″_ gunpowder, graphite, gold leaf, white acrylic on wood panel.

Warning: The video is a bit anti-climatic.

video of the .270 burn:

Your Word is Your Bond

I leave for Germany tomorrow. I finished this piece,”Your Word is Your Bond,” last night.

"Your Word is Your Bond" 22x60x15, gunpowder and goldleaf on paper, wood structure

There is a flock of Gold Leaf birds flying through the arm, but it is very difficult to see them due to the discoloration that occurred during burning.

Your Word is Your Bond_Detail

This piece had to be recreated after a bit of a mishap when I switched gun powders. I had to switch after running out of Winchester 748, which was a medium/low burn rate with a low burn temperature. (It is perfect for this kind of work, but hard to find and it takes months if you order it due to governmental restrictions.) I tried to use a Magnum powder… bad idea.

Here is the video of the mishap. it is kind of funny now, but it nearly torched my camera at the time.