Here is my exhibition proposal for The James Watrous Gallery at the Overture Center in Madison, WI. The gallery likes to tie the sciences to art. It had to be less than 300 words. This comes in at 298! Let me know what you think, it is due next week!
In July of 2006, I discovered the use of gunpowder and high speed fuse to burn and char artworks through the work of Cai Guo-Qiang. I traveled to China to observe his techniques. Later that year, I sold my companies, retired as CEO, and exploded my first piece of art.
To improve, I studied the science of gunpowder. I mixed salt peter (potassium nitrate), sulfur, and charcoal. I learned burn rates, temperatures, and how humidity and wind speed change the transformation into art. I blew up things!
The more I created, the more I learned about the incredible history of gunpowder. Ancient Chinese alchemists discovered gunpowder while searching for eternal life. Ironically, gunpowder would become the basis of power for empires and for almost every weapon used in war. My mission solidified, “The more gunpowder I use, the less there is for killing people.”
My exhibition, “It’s Not All Burning Flowers” exemplifies the nature of my “pop expressionism”, where common place images such as flowers, wildlife, and abstract images are exploded and evolve into art.
The floral artworks reveal my more intimate side and my experience with the fashion and advertising business. The flowers capture the vibrancy, sensuality, and beauty that companies want us to believe contrasted with the dark burns and grit of real life. My wildlife and abstract works show a range of techniques with personality.
My proposal is a simple one: To show a number of explosion and studio photographs as well as floral, wildlife, and abstract gunpowder paintings and fine art prints that will prove that there are better uses for gunpowder than killing. In doing this, I believe I can present a collection that will raise awareness, relate to the sciences, and have a colorful and important impact on viewers lives.