Ashes to Ashes (2007)




digital print and invisible ink on paper 297mm x 420mm x 3

I’ve long had an interest in alchemy – the bastard brother of chemistry. Something about the dogged pursuit of an unattainable goal via arcane ritual and experimentation reminds me of the process of making art. My alchemy here, is quite simple -I’ve been playing with invisible ink. This particular type of ink has been in use for hundreds of years as a method of passing secret information.

The ink is clear as water and invisible when dry. The markings only revealed when the paper is held to a flame.

Obviously working with invisible ink poses a problem, one is never quite able to see quite what one has painted, none-the-less I’m quite pleased with the way this first aesthetic alchemical experiment has turned out. I particularly like the juxtaposition of the crisp digital print with the splattery charred ink.




As you can see, the first skeleton caught alight and has a hole in the side. I’m sure I’ve been warned before about playing with fire…





6 Comments

  • bruce spangler says:

    cleverly done, sir. but if i were naming this piece, i’d call it “putting dumbledore back in the closet”.

  • shardcore says:

    well bruce, not sure dumbledore wants to go back in the closet – i think he’s quite happy ‘out and about’ with the other wizards and fairies…

  • bruce spangler says:

    thank you for responding to my comment.
    `
    personally, i find dumbledore’s outing gratuitous. i think it diminishes him and steals his breath away, much like fire sucks oxygen from the air. your latest work speaks volumes to me about it. it’s not just the obvious linguistic associations to this piece like bare bones, skeletons in the closet, homosexuals out of the closet, flaming, flamer… and it’s more still than the alt.alchemy.jungian way you play with the disappearing ink and filly with the flicker to hotly reveal the surprise that is a crispy bit of in-out, in-out. i think what i really dig most is the full frontal exposure of the skeleton, legs slightly parted, hands limp and submissive… then closer still, all holes and orifice… until lastly he’s on his knees, open mouthed… postured and pathologized…
    `
    sir, i am a great fan of your body of work. and while i wholly support your right to name each experiment as you see fit … i do feel the need to gently remind you that once you push your art through the liquid crystal display… all you can do is wait and see what comes out the other end.
    `
    in this case, it was dumbledore. meta-morphed and meta-subtle perhaps, but dumbledore nonetheless.
    `
    bruce spangler

  • sacha says:

    Nice triptych. Vesalius?

  • Mr. Spangler, are you in need of a proper courting? I’m willing to overlook the disturbing interest in Harry Potter books and embrace the wetness in my seat (Was that inappropriate?).

  • bruce spangler says:

    i’ve never read a harry potter book.
    `
    and while i do appreciate the offer, jenka potente, i respectfully decline. don’t construe this as rejection… think of it instead as my gift to you… because i can assure you in the strongest possible psycho-pussycat-chop-chop-chop terms that there would be nothing proper about any involvement with me.
    `
    bruce spangler

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