• October 23, 2016

Palimpsest vs Collage

This is an ongoing series of palimpsest paintings, layer upon layer of cross-cultural and multi-temporal text and imagery. “Palimpsestos” means “scraped again”; in ancient times when parchment was expensive to acquire or difficult to make, earlier writings would be scraped or washed off and the page overwritten.  Over time, you might have scientific writings on top of scraped religious writings which were on top of erased philisophical texts on top of washed off food inventories… going back decades, or sometimes even many hundreds of years, across a diversity of cultures, economies, and belief systems. (Modern technology like ultraviolet has enabled the reading of the layers.) On computer hard drives, information is being overwritten all the time.

No There There (detail)

My collages are vertically interleaved or stacked imagery (Y axis generally, but sometimes horizontally on the X), whereas these palimpsests are done on the Z axis (that is, overlayed on top of instead of above one another.) The palimpsest pieces also resonate with geology, where previous earth eras are revealed in layers as you dig down, deserts under lake beds under forests, but also civilization, with hidden histories beneath the surface, cities or cultural centers whose origin, and re-origin, goes back many thousands of years making definitive origns hard to determine (underscoring one of my overarching themes: we are all palimpsests).

Another reference point is music: a palimpsest is contrapuntal.  Pop music like rock and pop are relatively simple, with one melodic line; more complex music (classical) has two or more melodic lines played simultaneously. When listening, you can track back and forth between the melodic lines; in a sense, you can get a different listening experience the next time by following the lines at different points.  So a palimpsest is contrapuntal, with separate but overlapping visual melodies and themes, which you can follow in many ways.

A new series has turned the palimpsest layers geological, stacking strata of layers of paintings atop one another. A number of the works use technology (laser cutting) to achieve some of the layers. Some of them have overwritten/overpainted layers (see Divination Inclination below), while some are earlier paintings that have been palimpsested multiple times with oilsticked layers, industrial coverings, stainless steel enveiling and so on. There is a crossover from series to series, as in the work floSteppa, which is a palimpsest of the linear abstracts, the industrial mirror-tape works, the wrapped pieces, and the shift/drift painting series. (In that sense the work belongs to the Evolvers series, which are long-vision works, changing as time goes on).


No There There 60 x 84" oilstick on aluminumNo There There 60 x 84″ oilstick on aluminum

na cha cha, installed

48 x 32″, acrylic on aluminum tape, acrylic and oilstick on canvas on aluminum

floSteppa 48 x 36″ acrylic wire, mixed media on wood


upSteppa by K.I.A. SOLD

36 x 24″ acrylic, oilstick on aluminum tape on aluminum

56 x 36″ oilstick, 3000 nuts/bolts on aluminum

42 x 26". Oilstick on aluminum tape on aluminum.

00Boogwoogie 36 x 24″ aluminum tape, oilstick on aluminum

26 x 20" Acrylic and oilstick on aluminum tape on aluminum.

26 x 20″ Acrylic and oilstick on aluminum tape on aluminum.


36 x 24". Acrylic on aluminum tape on acrylic on aluminum.

36 x 24″. Acrylic on aluminum tape on acrylic on aluminum.

60 x 32" Oilstick on aluminum tape on aluminum

60 x 32″ Oilstick on aluminum tape on aluminum


Map Not That 84 x 60 x 3″, oilstick on aluminum

Argent Silk Armor 84 x 60 x 18″ oilstick on aluminum

leaves of silver

Untitled. 36 x 24″, metallic leaf on acrylic on wood.


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