Recently, while burning years of accumulated papers, I came across various books, as well as an old missal of Gregorian chants that I used as a young boy, when attending the centuries-old choir school of the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris. I felt driven to burn its pages, and to use their volatile textures as the primary medium for collage on new paintings. This was a form of transmutation of the chants as a mental catalyst for internalizing the cathedral’s tragedy, and furthermore, a way to conceptualize the transitory essence of life, ideas, and cultural values. This work eventually extended to the use of old metaphysical books, poems, sheet music, star maps, and personal records kept along the years.

ASHES is a continuation of previous bodies of work such as Kumulipo, where the canvas is painted in direct contact with the configurations of diverse exterior grounds and fluctuant atmospheric conditions. In both cases, the work commits to the dynamics of mutable and uncontrollable natural forces that will determine their outcome. Read more