bardo

In Tibetan Buddhism there is a realm of the afterlife, a transitional state in-between reincarnations, called the world of bardo.

I began a series of works with the idea of creating a new form of nature out of synthetic materials that would not imitate nature but would fulfill the need that nature inspires.  Incorporating color pigments, oil paints and metal powders into hot wax, I created 10 or so 72x24" panels intended to create a feeling of polished semi-precious stones.  The finished works were more aligned with 1950's linoleum kitchen counters and so, disappointed with the results, I decided to destroy the compositions and melt down the wax into storage units for future re-use.  Separating the scrapings by color, it took almost a year to scrape the thick encaustic off of the wood panels.  The melted scrapings, poured into bread tins, yielded 94 wax bricks, each numbered in order of its reconstitution.

Originally intended only for storage, the hardened bricks embodied the organic form of nature I had been looking for in my encaustic paintings.  Without strategy, striated veins of varied color appeared within each brick, giving it the feeling of polished stone.  In addition, the bricks sort of trace the genealogy of my paintings, a bit like DNA sequencing and still remain in a transitional, in-between state of bardo.