Insight from the Written World:
“Political engagement is rarely viewed in terms of forgiveness. The willingness to confront injustice —to name and identify it—is by nature a bold act. But since injustice (and justice) are controversial concepts that involve highly polarized parties—the accuser and the accused—forgiveness encompasses a vast range of emotions and procedures, and constitutes one of the most complex forms of human commitment.” (Our ability to dialogue is diminished. I believe artist can respond to this paradigm by leading: creating social- political identities and statements for people who feel disempowered.)
The Atlas Group, Nassar, 2005
“Even in a media driven age, much art is, at some basic level, personal. But art is intrinsically political, designed to shape a view of the world in empowering ways, ways that write certain people and ideas into the record and leave others out.”
“Experimental—interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, self-critical, heterodox—approaches to art will have to be tried out if and audience for history, which is only alive as our sense of investment in, is not to be lost.”
Holland Cotter, Toward a Museum of the 21st Century, Critic’s Notebook, The New York Times, 2015
How Are The Flags Made?
Each flag is developed on a base of three-quarter marine grade plywood. The surface is then covered with a very thin layer of Albuquerque mud, a natural plaster-like material that is applied with trowels one color at a time. The plaster has been colored with dry pigments. I use this material because I prefer the manner in which the mud absorbs wax; it produces uneven, rich but subtle color variation.
When the surface layer is dry I'm able to start the Assemblage process. Items are carefully measured and calculated to fit into the defined shape of a field or stripe. Objects are then adhered one item at a time, one stripe at a time.
After adhesion is accomplished, I build a frame around the face board. This allows me to handle the art during the wax period and pour a fluid wax edge.
Encaustic wax is a combination of highly filtered bees wax and damar resin. The artwork is heated so the surface temperature is receptive to hot encaustic wax as it is painted or sometimes poured into place in thin layers. Each layer must be fused to the underlying surface using high-temperature blow torches. It is a slow, tricky and toxic process. Each piece of art requires approximately three months to fully develop.
I'm frequently asked about how to care for an encaustic piece of artwork. Treat it like a photograph. Don't expose it to direct sunlight or place it near glass that will act as a magnifying glass. Don't leave it in heat above ninety degrees. Wax will scratch if you are mean to it but it's easily repaired. Wax is a natural substance...it will bloom and look milky over time but not forever unless the piece is meant to. I quite like the quality of having a "living" object to watch.