For the past several years I have been working on a series of paintings made with molten iron. In an effort to distinguish this new work, my motives and methodology from that of my colleagues in the cast iron art making community I am no longer referring to this series as molten iron paintings. They will simply be called paintings. It's my belief that if the work is to be truly embraced by the larger art world it should stand on it's own artistic merits and not rely on the punch line molten iron.
I treat the archival paper with a liquid compound of my own creation making it remarkably resistant to the 2800 degree molten iron. The resulting gestural strokes and splashes, my persuasion of the liquid fire on its collision course with the picture plane, creates beautiful and unpredictable marks that not only scorch the surface but also burn down into the depths of the layered paper. Each one successfully captures the creative moment in a dynamic, spontaneous and visually compelling manner. The molten iron acts as a brush leaving behind complex, scorched gestures that permanently seal the instant of their making. Each drawing bears the marks of the controlled chaos that brought it into existence.
My sculptural work focuses on the elements of water, fire & heat, air & steam and earth & iron in an effort to more inclusively involve the process of iron melting (fire and earth) and re-direct the focus of the work more closely towards the notion of that which is ephemeral (air, steam and heat). The concepts of forgotten memories and lessons once learned are universal. I make these themes resonate with hypnotic frequency as one gazes upon water dripping steadily into a heated iron basin creating a steady cadence of audible hissing. It is at this juncture that the life giving compound vaporizes into nothingness like a memory lost forever
In a previous series of heat generating & radiator sculptures I was presenting a new kind of ready-made that contradicts one of the basic conditions of the genre. The tradition of the readymade has been predicated on its removal from a utilitarian context. By going a step further I made my radiator sculptures generate heat as was their purpose. Rather than simply borrowing an object and placing it on a pedestal I additionally restored and appropriated its original function and transformed that into a formal quality of the work.
These sculptures denied my audience the option of non-involvement. Casual observers may choose to ignore a typical work of art, but they cannot deny the feeling of warmth against their skin. This quality surrounds the viewer and forces them to engage the work through the inescapable sensation of heat thus rupturing the typical boundaries of art perception.