I named Con Brio, Con Fuoco, and Feurig after musical terms meaning to play with fire.
I see that fire in the coppery color of the prints, the way their gilding glows with a reddish light, and the energetic marks on the prints themselves.
All three prints are made from the same woodblock, whose imagery comes from a drawing I made during a musical concert.
At the time, I was exploring how an environment could affect my art and those viewing it.
Inspired by the forest of symbols in Baudelaire’s Correspondences, I suspended my prints from the ceiling in groups much like I would arrange dancers on a stage.
La Nature est un temple où de vivants piliers
Laissent parfois sortir de confuses paroles;
L’homme y passe à travers des forêts de symboles
Qui l’observent avec des regards familiers.
Nature is a temple where living colonnades
Sometimes let escape confused words;
Man passes among symbolic glades
Which observe him with familiar regards.
Comme de longs échos qui de loin se confondent
Dans une ténébreuse et profonde unité,
Vaste comme la nuit et comme la clarté,
Les parfums, les couleurs et les sons se répondent.
Like dwindling echoes gathered far away
Into a tenebrous and profound unison,
Vast as the night and as the day,
The scents, the colors, and the sounds meet as one.
Il est des parfums frais comme des chairs d’enfants,
Doux comme les hautbois, verts comme les prairies,
–Et d’autres, corrompus, riches et triomphants,
There are odors as fresh as the skin of an infant,
Sweet as oboes, green as prairies,
–And others, corrupted, rich, and triumphant,
Ayant l’expansion des choses infinies,
Comme l’ambre, le musc, le benjoin, et l’encens,
Qui chantent les transports de l’esprit et des sens.
Having the expansion of infinite things,
Like amber, musk, benzoin, and frankincense,
Which sing the ecstasies of the soul and of the senses.
The gilded surfaces of the prints reflected each other and the ambient light in the exhibition space.
And the papers fluttered and danced with air currents in the space as well as the movements of passersby.
Thus both the prints and viewers engaged in a quiet call and response dance.
My hope was that taking a moment to play with art would spark a greater awareness in the participant’s surroundings—the sounds, the air currents, the smells, the colors, the light—which she or he would then carry beyond the exhibition space.