by Nastia VoynovskayaPosted on

Steven Spazuk paints with the flame of his candle like the hairs of a brush, charring paper and delicately sculpting the soot with feathers, paintbrushes and other tools. His work retains the undulating quality of smoke, but certain sections are carved out with a realist precision. In his latest series, Spazuk juxtaposes birds with destructive hardware: grenades, spray cans, stove burners. Titled “Ornithocide,” the series is a reaction to the heavy use of pesticides in North America and the consequential poisoning of insect-eating birds. “Since this industrial revolution, we are quite comfortable with the idea that we can poison insects to seemingly cleanse our homes and protect our crops,” Spazuk wrote in his artist statement. “We collectively and conveniently avoid thinking about the impacts of these suicidal choices. How can it make sense to lace our food and dwellings with poisons? How dare we impose these deadly choices on all other forms of life?”