Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

Firework Painting #10, 2009
Rosemarie Fiore

Ringing in the new year with Rosemarie Fiore's firework paintings would be much more interesting than another image of champagne flutes and fireworks.

From the Saatchi online magazine:

"Rosemarie Fiore's discipline relates to the European Surrealist movement and to German Wolfgang Paalen's method of Fumage -- known as an automatic technique, whereby unpremeditated imagery is generated, when provoked by a candle held under a sheet of paper, causing soot to gather on its surface -- prompting the mind to associate freely. With her own process, Fiore similarly favours this element of randomness, being subjected only to her medium's limitations and to the source of her subconscious.

Following her own realization that fireworks, lit and thrown onto a smooth cement floor, leave chaotic marks as they spin and explode, Fiore started painting and drawing with the colorful pigments discharged by the explosives. By way of cardboard cylinders and metal cans, Fiore retains the firework explosions like specimen, restraining their movements to a constricted area on the paper and regaining a certain authority over her source. Furthermore, by tying fireworks to a large stick, she commands her medium, like any other, narrowing the potential for chance errors. Fiore concedes, however, acknowledging that "Fireworks are explosives. They are violent, destructive and chaotic in nature."

Originally discovered in China about 2,000 years ago, fireworks, both then and now, are thought to have the power to fend off evil spirits and ghosts, by frightening them with the loud bangs of their explosions. The alchemical connotations of fireworks, exemplified by the tragic figure of Dr. Faustus, who used pyrotechnics for his experimental rituals in his quest for greater enlightenment, are immanent. Fiore's practice alludes to these deductions while simultaneously demonstrating that, above and beyond all implications, fireworks can simply be used as a creative tool for abstract compositions of colour and light."