Gun Powder Sky
Acrylic House paint, Powder pigment, Iron Powder, Rock Salt, Marsh Grass, Charcoal, Sulfur on Paper Shopping Bag. 2019
This work references the painting “Battle of Long Island” by Alonzo Chappel (1828-1887). That painting depicts the retreat of the “Maryland 400” across Brouwer's Mill Pond. This painting was part of the Tides of Time exhibit at Gowanus Dredgers boat house (August 2019).
|"Battle of Long Island” by Alonzo Chappel (1828-1887)|
The title alludes to the great blinding noxious clouds of white smoke that were created by the burning gunpowder. Battles of this time in history were often hard to directly observe because of the tremendous volumes of thick smoke that were generated. Consequently, because the battle was totally obscured, generals of the time had a difficult time controlling the movements of their troops.
Here I layered the ingredients of gun powder and local marsh grass. White paint covers and obscures that under-structure. The paint is applied in such a way so as to let the chemical reaction of iron and salt stain and penetrate the white painted surface. Rust and decay are modern components that allude to both the past and present environment of the Gowanus canal.