Harald is born.
More accurately, Harald was exploded to life.
See, things started out fine. Brad Sherman, a good friend and buyer, stopped over to learn a bit about my process. I did not want to have a crappy "show and tell". I figured a portrait would be a good place to start.
So why Harald? Well, going back a few days, I was in Viroqua with Doc, my 93-year-old father. We had a long conversation on two things. First, we talked about Donald Trump. We agreed that we would move to Norway if Trump were to actually win the presidency. Doc does not understand how such a demagogue can rise to popularity. He thinks it's great to want change, but you shouldn't burn down your entire house doing it. So Norway, here we come?
For the portrait, I looped some high-speed fuse into the shape of a head. I compressed the fuse a bit with rocks. Then, sorta randomly (chance is good), I added some medium grade and cannon grade gunpowder to the face. This is not the kind of gunpowder used in bombs. No, this is way more volatile and dangerous.
It is going to get red hot, so I add a couple of stencils to give some relief in his eyes, nose and mouth. Then, I spread some super fine gunpowder to give his neck a different texture and some variation. Brad is with me through every step.
So before we light the fuse, I'm thinking that Doc told me my great, great grandfather had emigrated from Norway. Man, that was like a 100 years ago. He had a few kids here. He got frustrated and returned to Norway. He left all of his kids. They were adopted. My grandmother was adopted. Cool! Doc and I were not sure how Trump's immigration plan would have changed this. But it seems like it will be bad for children.
I look at the potential of this artwork. We are definitely going to need a Norwegian name.
Brad lights the fuse.
Boom! Starting at the atomic level and growing into a much larger fireball, the explosion transforms the paper into a portrait.
Now, like all deliveries we need to clean up the debris.
The birth of Harald. The Norwegian.
Good work, Brad!
Stick Vega is the American Gunpowder Artist, former CEO, and author of LESS KILLING. Stick currently lives and creates explosive pop art at The Blast Factory in Madison, Wisconsin. Not limited to one medium, he works in gunpowder drawings and paintings, photography, digital art and writing. Follow Stick on Facebook and/orTwitter.