Do Not Not Touch

  • September 22, 2014
DNNT. 36 x 24"


Above: “Verdigris DNNT”  36 x 24″. 20,000” copper wire over acrylic on aluminum. Comes with a “Touching Must Be Allowed” contract.

Transformation has always been a constant in my work: from the accretion paintings and changeable sculptures (using recombinant panels or sliced sections to remix and intermix works), to the use of iridescent paint which color-shifts at oblique angles, to the use of reflective materials that incorporate the surrounding colors, to the use of luminescent-paint with ‘reveals’ post-lighting; to ephemeral outdoor works that melt/decay with the weather… and now, with the work above, oxidization vs human touch. (See also this Detail shot showing the underwrapping that reveals in different lighting.)

In a sense, with the copper-wrapped piece I’ve crowdsourced ‘paintstrokes’: the audience of this work is encouraged to touch the work to keep the patina of the copper changing — it will build in some areas, be wiped off or flake off in others, while the oil from the skin of participants will protect some areas. The work is sold with a contract that states that touching must be allowed and encouraged by viewers. Ideally, it will evolve over decades or… forever. See below for a small version of this; I sped up some of the patina process as you can see.

Which leads to something I’ve been thinking about for many years: the long-view. Would you buy a work of art that won’t be finished until after your death? Would you buy a painting or sculpture that would take 100s of years to finish? A thousand?


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