Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Miles Conrad - "Wax & Wane" - Encaustic in the Summer

Bound, wrapped and dipped in wax, the perception of the objects in Conrad’s installation fluctuate between their organic and synthetic sources. Inspired by Conrad’s workshop at the 2008 Montserrat College of Art Encaustic Conference, "Off the Wall: Encaustic in 3D," this piece involves coating found objects such as cactus thorns, twigs, cardboard and rubber globes in wax and forming them into orbs, where they serve as abstract representations of natural forms.

In this version of the concept, Conrad and Conference Director Joanne Mattera were inspired to incorporate the effects of the sun and heat on these wax-covered objects. Exposed to direct sunlight and the high temperatures of the storefront window, the forms will collapse and transform. “With so much focus by the contemporary encaustic community on the preservation and the archival quality of the material,” Conrad explains, “the concept was to offer an exhibit that celebrates the medium’s fragility and temporarily”.

Conrad describes his studio practice as combining encaustic, found objects and mundane materials to create biomorphic abstractions; encouraged by studying source images from the fields of biology, immunology and pathology. Through his interest in the biological and the natural world, Conrad discovered another layer of meaning to the installation in its reference to the effect of global warming and a changing planet.

Much of encaustic’s most exciting origins were based in artists relinquishing control to the wax itself, a material that would dry and take shape before one could recreate it. Conrad has offered this authority not only to the material, but to the affects of the natural world; allowing his piece to be created and recreated by it’s surroundings.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Miles,
    This is in response to your blog: "Miles Conrad, Wax and Wane in the summer 2009"
    Blog: http://frame301.blogspot.com/2009/06/miles-conrad-wax-wane-encaustic-in.html

    "This is a delicious representation of an authentic melt. Why is ice cream so succulent? The cream rises to the top to be met with the precarious nature of our heated tongue. Raw pressured swirls penetrate the divine cool and creamy; awakening to that which can not be tamed. A rather powerful yet gentle alchemical soup; a true symbiotic synthesis of fire and ice. Why not be witness to the evolution of natures unfolding by allowing its true essence to come undone in the form for which it came? Why think only in one dimensional representations while there always will be the opposite force inadvertently maintaining its natural homeostatic balance? If there is heaven and hell, good and evil, why not only pay attention to the preservation of the properties found in encaustic wax, but to also celebrate its natural form which wanes with the natural sunlight?

    Miles, not only are you an inspiration but my personal artistic hero.
    In great admiration, Alison Leigh (Ali Bee Art- Encaustic, Sculpture & Photography)