|"BLAZE" 10165, 11x14 mixed media|
I was reading* about Italian artist, Alberto Burri (1915-1995), who was an influential figure in the postwar art scene in America. His work is currently on view at the Santa Monica Museum of Art. I was interested in his use of unusual materials such as burlap, fabric, wood, sheet metal and plastic.
Sometimes the materials were torched in order to explore the expressive qualities of molten plastic, charred wood, and singed fiber.
I recently got a torch and was itching to try it on something. I tried melting a piece of copper, but my BUTANE torch does not burn hot enough to melt copper - need a PROPANE torch for that. My torch, however, is hot enough to melt thin metal foils.
I like the effect of torching the foil. It changes color and actually melts if you hold it in the flame long enough. If you've ever worked with foils, you know that you cannot tear them easily and this enables you to create a ragged edge which is sometimes preferable to a straight edge on a collage piece.
In this painting, the red areas are made from red aluminum foil that has been torched around the edges. There also is texture from acrylic gel medium.
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*"(Re)discovering Burri," by Kirsten Swenson, Art in America, December'10