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Artist of the Week: Jordan Eagles

August 21, 2011

Details of a painting by Jordan Eagles, made in blood and copper.

Encountering these works was just sublime.  I had a strong reaction to them and then went on to the joys of watching others encounter the works.  When I first saw them, they were luminous and warm, like molten liquid stained glass with light reflecting off of the copper flecks and drops.  The high gloss surfaces were sleek and reflective.  Then I read the label regarding the materials used and learned the works were made of blood.

Interestingly, all of my friends –all of them- asked the exact same question when they saw the images: Is it his blood?

Jordan Eagles portfolio website answers this and describes aspects of the blood-based series:

“This new series includes a sculptural mural, site-specific installation, and photography. Through a self-invented process, I suspend, encase, and permanently preserve animal blood, salvaged from slaughterhouses, in plexiglass and UV resin. This technique is designed to retain the blood’s natural colors and textures and to expose its finite details. When lit, the works become more translucent, cast shadows, and project a glow onto the wall behind them. This effect reveals multiple layers of organic material floating in clear resin and makes the works appear as if they are illuminated from the inside.”

The works are presented without political or social commentary; there is no message given with the presentation of these paintings.  It’s not even harped on that the blood is reclaimed or recycled.  The paintings are the materials the artist used to make the works with their inherent visual properties.

There is no oxidation, much of the blood looks very fresh and the colors are trapped in a fashion I assume would not lead to any further change or degradation.  This is a technical feat that I have to admire; Eagles definitely has some secrets in his process whereby he has perfected pulling off painting with blood and preserving its look and color.  I would guess that during the application of the blood to the surface, he would have to work quickly to make the painting and get the preservation and resin encasing process done, but that is only a guess on my part.

Jordan Eagles website is here.  There are more images of the paintings, of the site-specific installations and videos.

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