by Deborah Kapoor
Horseshoe Crab, Encaustic (DK003)
18" x 9" x 3"
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Using found objects from the domestic and natural world, Kapoor creates pink vignettes that reclaim and revel in feminine matter. Borrowing from but subverting the vanitas painting genre, her use of temporal phenomena such as eggs, leaves, petals, skins, cork, fruit, insects, animals, clay, lace, hair and fur reify the sensuous, and the corporeal. Her tableaus reaffirm our need for beauty in a troubled world, offering respite, however precarious. This modern-day Cabinet of Curiosities exhibits themes of containment, accumulation, and feminine persistence in an ever-changing contemporary world.
These feminine iterations cooperate with an interest in formal concerns of artmaking and new explorations of encaustic. Encaustic painting is an ancient medium of beeswax, damar resin, and pigment recognized for its resplendent surface and rich color. Paint is fused together with heat, creating an enamel-like finish. Kapoor’s contained vessels appear to insist on preserving specimens or artifacts/relics of femininity in using wax, her chosen material. Paired with hot molten paint, her clay experiments with lace result in otherworldly creatures, a paradox for an everlasting material that in this presentation appear devastatingly vulnerable. Displayed works unveil an array of techniques including painting, printmaking, pouring, dipping, transfer methods, clay sculpture, and sewn fiber collage in her unique voice with the use of dimensional encaustic.