This series has been my main area of exploration this year. Lacking the technical means usually necessary to a printmaker, I developed collections of drawings and images that I magnify and reproduce through punching patterns. The technique has been used for centuries to produce series of near-identical paintings manually and is notorious for having been used in Flanders and The Netherlands, where I am currently in an art residency. Typically, a dozen reproduced paintings would be executed by apprentices and a single one by the master.
For this series, I combined the punching technique with encaustic painting, also a very old medium, that allows me to erase and redraw or repaint a pattern indefinitely. It is possible to paint, melt or carve the surface to merge or superimpose images onto each other, creating effects of density, loss, superimposition. I also use iridescent pigments generally used for nail art, which, together with the wax, gives a certain magical strangeness to the final result.
In terms of images, I chose to pick and collect mixtures of my own sketches and images in a very eclectic way. Things that feel familiar, for personal reasons or simply because they have been hanging around in globalized culture.
Trauma can be defined as a memory that keeps repeating itself, a ghost that doesn’t cease to haunt its sufferer with fixated yet confused successions of memories, images, sounds and feelings. The repetitiousness of the memory loops does exhaust the sufferer, yet they are incapable of stopping that obsessive carousel. Figures of the past might lose their sharpness, they keep appearing under diverse forms in diverse moments.
As in memory, this process of repeating the same patterns over and over through the whole series of works has some familiarity with the traumatic circle in its strenuousness. If there are variations in the execution, the main patterns do remain the same, yet they might be obfuscated by novelties or different ways of being superimposed.
The work is also deliberately marked by the absence of hierarchy or of any clear logical association in the images it carries, be it in date, scale, object represented, or style. This apparent discontinuity is also meant to trigger confusion and attract the viewer to examine the materiality of the pieces more closely and see the density of the details.