It’s no secret that choice of medium can significantly accent the subject of the artwork. Fumage is one of those techniques that can’t be compared with anything else. By using the flame of a candle or a torch as a pencil to create his paintings with trails of soot, Steven “Spazuk” (covered here) has been creating intricate artworks for over 10 years. He is showing his latest body of work titled “Smoking Guns and Feathers” at Reed Projects gallery in Stavanger, Norway. The show is featuring his latest series of works focused on the fragility and precariousness of the species that share our biosphere. The uncertain future of these fragile “rulers of skies” is accented through use of smoke trails as a painting medium.
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?”