Leaves of Steel

  • October 11, 2016

Magritte’s Treachery of Images (This is Not a Pipe) and Kosuth’s One and Three Chairs both work the territory that a concept (whether expressed as language or image) is never accurate because it is not the object itself, simply a refferent.

The content of this work is from Leaves of Grass, which is a book of poems praising nature and the physical world, by Walt Whitman. In WW’s title, the leaves are not tree leaves, of course, but book pages. And the book itself is not exactly that — because he revised it and published it many times over the years, it’s actually many different books. The context of the content kept changing each time he added or edited writings. He revised it up until his death.

Leaves of Steel is a painting that can be read. The text is a phototransfer copy from a photocopy of a printed fascimile of the original handwritten manuscript. The visibile leaves are a phototransfer copy from digital scans of real leaves.  The panels themselves (the ‘leaves’ of the painting) are aluminium, not steel. The entire work itself, as you can see below, gets revised and ‘republished’ in new forms. Its context also changes — other paintings on panels can be added to it, so that the work gains new meanings over time from juxtapositions with new material. This work will be revised up until my death, and after. (Others can remix it.)

Leaves of Steel
Leaves of Steel, wall iteration, 60 x 30″, mixed media on aluminum panels

Leaves Too
Leaves of Steel, Petals of Aluminum

Leaves Fall
Leaves, Fall

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