67P: generating water for painting

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My on-going interest: comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which has hosted for the 1st time in the human history a robotic probe on 12 November 2014.

During the short period of time after the landing Philae ( a 100 kg (220 lb) robotic probe) has collected some data about the water on the comet, hoping to cast light on the mystery about how did water come to the planet Earth. It was discovered that the water on 67P is different then on our planet, to be more exact, that water has D2O (also known as heavy water) 3 times higher then on Earth, which is the highest ever amount found in nature.

I have decided to re-create similar water to the one found on 67P and paint with this water a set of works of the comet.

Heavy water. 
What is heavy water? Deuterium oxide (2H2O ) or D2O, is a form of water that contains a larger than normal amount of the hydrogenisotope deuterium (also known as heavy hydrogen, which can be symbolized as 2H or D) rather than the common hydrogen-1isotope (called protium, symbolized as 1H) that makes up most of the hydrogen in normal water. Long story short. I needed to recreate this heavy water in order to enrich my regular New York top to the amount found on the comet.

After my research I have discovered that D2O is not possible to generate, nature does not produce it, and the only D2O found has probably formed during the Big Bang. My only option was to extract it, but there are only about 156 deuterium atoms per million hydrogen atoms (1 per 6410). After reading few articles and blogs, I understood that I could use electrolysis process in order to bring the level of heavy water higher.
Surely, I would need a lot of energy and voltage to generate the pure D2O, and in my art project I am just using this process for an educational prepose.

I used a 22 V 550 Amps AC/DC adopter as my electrolysis devise.
Electrolysis will be decomposing H2O into H and O, leaving D2O alone.
Hydrogen will appear at the cathode (the negatively charged electrode, where electrons enter the water), and oxygen will appear at the anode (the positively charged electrode).

It was recommended to attach stainless steel or graphite at the ends of each wire.
I started my tasting. For the stainless steel I took 2 stainless forks. In order to speed up the process it was suggested to add electrolyte, such as baking soda or salt.

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Try 1: stainless forks, salt.
After just few seconds I could see 2 gasses (H and O) were forming on the forks. In few minutes the color of the water was rapidly turning rusty. After another 3-4 min the water turned green. I can not use rusty water for painting with watercolor.

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Try 2: stainless forks, backing soda
This time it was not so fast of a color change, but even the stainless steel was oxidizing and turning into rust. It was still not good, a lot of rusty sediment. Though, if I would keep this water over night, some of the rust would settle on the bottom, the rest would float on the surface. Funny fact: if I would tap on the container, top sediment would slowly settle down. The water could be filtered and used for painting. But I wanted even better result.

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Try 3: graphite rods, salt
This time all went well. I used artist leds (graphite), the water was clear. But suing salt in the water will make my painting form crystals (I have used this effect in the series of my works: Sky’s Darkest Spot). I had to eliminate salt.

Try 4: graphite rods, backing soda
This was the perfect run. Water stayed clear. Soda did not effect the paint! Success!

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I decided to use electrolysis for 3 hours each time. This amount of time was still not enough to get my water to the amount of D2O that was found on 67P. So I ordered the 100% pure Heavy water from United Nuclear. It was costly (12$ plus shipping per 10 grams of water!), but necessary.

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Two drops of D2O to the whole large jar of water after electrolysis has made the trick. I now had what I was looking for: H2O enriched with D2O, just like on the comet 67P.

You would ask, how did it effect my painting? I did a test of 100% D2O and H2O on the watercolor. Both of the drops dried the same way (maybe D2O a little slower) and no visible differences were noticed. But this is not the point, is it?

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67P: sketching

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My on-going interest: comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which has hosted a robotic probe on 12 November 2014 for the 1st time in the human history . I have decided to re-create similar water to the one found on 67P and paint with this water a set of works of the comet (read blog post: 67P: generating water for painting).

I often make small sketches before starting a large painting. It helps me to make a plan in my mind of how will I work on a main painting, which will take a few weeks to create usually, so I need to make sure that it is going to the right direction from the start.

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My sketches are usually made with watercolor on white paper, but since my subject is mainly dark, with a few brighter points, this time I chose black paper and charcoal instead.

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I have a board of references, photographs that are mainly taken by the robotic probe itself. My focus is the water found on the comet. I pay close attention to the vapor streaming from the rock when the comet it gets close to the Sun. Water turns immediately from ice to gas then, creating a long tail. I am trying to capture this effect in my work.

Works on paper. Art Basel, Miami 2014


The biggest and the most important fair in Miami is undoubtedly the Art Basel fair.
It is close to impossible to see all the works in one day. This fair is a must to see though as it will give you a full update on the contemporary art world and new art tendentious.

As my subject of interest I again picked “works on paper”. Please enjoy this gallery.

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Kara Walker
Ink, watercolor and cut paper on paper
127 x 96.5 cm, 50″ x 38″

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Günther Förg
Untitled, 1989
Acrylic on paper
210 x 156 cm (82.7″ x 61.4″)
Gallery Lelong

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Martha Jungwirth
Untitled (from series “Kambodscha”), 2004
watercolor on paper
226 x 105 cm
Gallery Krinzinger Vienna
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Robert Bechtle
Westport River, 2014
Watercolor on paper
22 3/8″ x 30 1/8″ (57 x 76.5 cm)
Gladstone Gallery

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Richard Forster
Three Verticals on consecutive but random time intervals, Saltburn-by-the Sea, 21 Jan 2009, 11.41-11.42 am
2014
Graphite on paper, three parts
192 x 132 cm
Ingleby Gallery
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Christopher Wool
Untitled, 1998
Enamel on rice paper
66″ x 48″ (167.64 x 121.92 cm)
Luhring Augustine Gallery

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Ulla Von Brandenburg
Costume, Animal, 2014
Watercolor on paper
140 x 110 cm (55 1/8″ x 43 1/4″)
Art: Concept, Paris
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Chris Ofili
Ovid
a series of 5 drypoint etchings with hand coloring
Edition of 15, 2012
Paragon gallery, UK
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Melvin Edwards
Avenue B Wire Vare #2, 1973
Spray paint and ink on paper
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Camille Henrot
Untitled (“Tropics of Love” series), 2014
paint and ink on paper
105 x 75 cm (41.34″ x 29.53″)
Kamel Mennour Gallery

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Tiago Tebet
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Robert Longo
Untitled (Ferguson Police, August 13, 2014), 2014
Charcoal on mounted paper
86″ x 120″ (218.4 x 304.8 cm)
Petzel Gallery

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Markus Schönwald
Hidi, 2011
pigment print
144.5 x 104.5 cm
GioMARCONI
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Heinz Mark
Vogel – Traum-Flug, 1963
silver spray on paper
30 3/4″ x 42 1/2″ (78 x 108 cm)
Sperone Westwater
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Gerben Mulder
A trailer fairy, mouse and monkey on skates observing copulating lovers, 2014
gouach, pensil and pigment dispersion on watercolor paper
141 x 141 cm
Galeria Fortes Vilaca
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Richard Serra
Solid #18, 2008
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Wardell Milan
Late afternoon, between late summer and early fall (#1), 2013
pastel, oil pastel and charcoal on paper
58″ x 60″ (147.3 x 152.4 cm)
David Nolan, New York
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Dirk Skreber
Untitled (forclosure), 2014
Oil and wax on canvas
51″x 86″ (129.5 x 218.4 cm)
Patzel

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William Kentridge
Untitled (Landscape), 2014
Indian ink on ledger book pages
182 x 271 cm
Goodman Gallery

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William Kentridge
If you have no eye, 2014
Linocut printed on a selection of non-archival dictionary pages, collaged and attached with archival tape to a black sheet of Arches, Cover White, 300 gsm paper
79 1/2″ x 42 1/2″ (202 x 108 cm)
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Jim Hodges
NY Summer Blues (For Johnny), 2014
5 parts, pastel, charcoal and saliva on paper
50″ x 38 1/2″ each
Gladstone Gallery

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Guillermo Kuitca

Acoustic Mass III (Covent Garden), 2005
mixed media
71″ z 71″ (180.3 x 180.3 cm)
Srerone Westwater, NY

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Christopher Wool
Untitled, 1994
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Huma Bhabha
Untitled, 2014
Ink, crayon and collage on c-print
80″ x 50″ (203.1 x 127 cm)
Salon 94

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Ansem Kiefer
Erdzeitalter, 2009
Gouache on photograph
60 13/16″ x 50 3/4: (154..5 x 129 cm)
John Berggruen Gallery

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Floris Neusüss
Untitled (from the work group “Körperbilder”), 1973
unique photogram on Agfa P 90
220 x 100 cm

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Mitchell Squire
Young Gladiators #7-10, 2013
Mixed media (F.A.T. paper targets salvaged from the low Law Enforcement Academy)
55 1/2″ 29 1/2″ x 4″
Richard Gray Gallery

Works on paper, Untitled art fair, Miami 2014


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Untitled art fair, Miami Beach, “is a curated art fair for international galleries and nonprofit art spaces with a focus on emerging and midcareer contemporary art.” Out of all the fair this year in Miami, I enjoyed this one the most. I love the vision of the curator (Carmen Ferreyra) and the welcoming feeling overall. On this fair I did not find signs, describing the artworks on the walls, this rule encouraged the conversation with the visitor, and because of that – relationship with galleries and guests were so much more warm and pleasant. An extra plus was that this fair was set up right on the beach sand, so after the show I could dip my tired feet in the ocean.

Here are works on paper and of paper I found on the fair:

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Addie Wagenknecht,
“Sunrise” 2014
Bitforms gallery, New York

 

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Gorge Steinmann
from the series “Deep Reserve”, 2001
Blueberry juice, antiseptic on paper
21”x29.7”
Galerie Heike Strelow
Frankfurt am Main

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Nicolas Franco
Digital Monotype, cotton paper
Chile

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Tony Orrico,
From the performance piece where artist would fold and bite paper to create this texture

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Paula Castro,
Acrilic and ink on paper

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Alfredo Jaar
“For Sale, Not for Sale” 2014
printed matter
30”x30”x30”

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Laura Seiden
paper, graphite, hardener

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Anastasia Ax
local recycled paper, ink, trash
this was performed at the opening of the Untitled art fair.
Since Gallery, Finland

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tempera and color on paper
122″ x 59″, 2014

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Javier Rordigues
graphite on paper
Curroy Poncho, Mexico
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Dario Escobar
“Yellow Composition”
linseed oil on cotton paper
30.7″ x 46.8″
Josee Bienvenu, New York
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Thomas Muller
Galery Michaelsturm, Stuttgart

 

Open studios at MANA Contemporary.


Yesterday, on September 14th of 2014, I had an amazing day. The reason is that I had my studio at MANA Contemporary open. Starting this September I am at the studio residency program at ESKFF (Eileen S. Kaminsky Family Foundation). I will be working here for 3 months, during which I am planing to complete a set of artworks with implemented interactive electronics. You can see some of the walls already and even play with them, activating different sensors and watching the artwork change. Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 1.40.28 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 1.39.28 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 1.39.50 PM If you would like to visit my studio at MANA Contemporary, just let me know when and I will give you a little tour around the place.         Twice a year MANA opens its studios for everyone, yesterday was one of these days. I know that not everybody had a chance to visit, so I would like to invite you to visit some of the studios virtually.

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Studying “Projected and Reflected Light”


Have you ever thought that most of the light that you see is a projected light?
Projected light requires a source from which it is projected. For example Sun, or any light bulb would produce some light. The rest of the light is being reflected by different surfaces.

In my work at the Art Symposium in Slovakia (July 2014) I was studying just that.
On my two canvases I had a personal task to represent the reflected and projected light. I chose a quite graphical solution, using just 3 colors: black, to represent the darkness, white – light and ultramarine – for more visual accent, as well as to represent an extension of invisible ultraviolet light (as a part of the any light dispersion).

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A simple well know rule of the light behavior, the angle of projection is equal to the angle of reflection, was a key point of the work. Each light line was to be bouncing from the surface at the same angle. I made this work 3D, by adding foil objects to represent a perfect condition for the reflection. Those surfaces were tilted at different angles to the canvas. My viewer could see the reflection of the light line and follow it’s reflection, it would even give an allusion of transparency of the metallic foil. Look at the sketch bellow:

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Any painting is a reflected light though. To introduce the projected light I decided to make my work interactive: I found a flashlight with a laser which I would invite my viewers to point on the artwork. This addition made the work more exciting, not you could see the light behavior in action. Foil worked as a perfect reflector and would transfer the light to the canvas or the wall, depending on the tilt of the foil. You could even trap the light in the triangles of facing each other foil surfaces.


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Both of the works will remain in Slovakia, will be exhibited for one month after the art symposium and the funds from the artwork’s sale will go for supporting the future Multipoint Art Symposiums.

The progress of the work is shown bellow.

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Please comment to this post if you have similar ideas or questions.