Monday, August 15, 2011

Earthly Delights - Encaustic Paintings by Russell Thurston

Opening Reception:
Friday, August 5 · 5pm - 7pm

Exhibition Dates:
August 3- August 24

at ViVO Contemporary
725 Canyon Road
Santa Fe, NM 87501

Appropriating science, technology and nature, artist Russell Thurston describes his creative process as "a journey without a map, never quite knowing where the work will wind up. My work is often a mirror of the world I'm trying to make sense of. At other times, it reflects a place to where I long to escape."

"Earthly Delights" represents a contemporary interpretation of one of the world's oldest artistic media, encaustic, which is pigmented beeswax. "It's a difficult medium to control" he says. "Accidents can happen, and often do, when applying the paint. I welcome these events; they help shape the work and give it a more spontaneous feel."

Thurston builds layer upon layer by fusing, scraping and embedding objects in the surface in a kind of archaeology that can reveal the history of its creation. Many of the paintings in "Earthly Delights" feature imagery of interconnected systems, often mingling the technological and the natural. In the painting "Nerve Net," for instance, dense colored lines weave in and out of what could be cells, DNA strands, or perhaps plant matter. "This painting began from a dream I had in which an anatomical engraving of a brain was going to be the main focus. Halfway through the painting, it went in a different direction and became more about the interconnectedness of natural systems. If I hadn't become an artist, I think I would have been a scientist. I see a similarity between scientific exploration and creating a work of art."

ViVO Contemporary, located on historic Canyon Road

in Santa Fe, New Mexico represents an eclectic mix of Santa Fe artists whose work includes oil and acrylic painting, mixed media, works on paper, photography, encaustic and sculpture - all presented in a beautiful contemporary gallery setting.

ViVO is the only gallery in Santa Fe with a room dedicated to book arts. The Book Art Gallery showcases book art forms such as altered, sculptural and interactive books as well as those that are more traditional in structure.

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