Buildings, houses, cabinets, desks and refrigerators are all box-like containers that hold our belongings for a limited time. When we move or die, our belongings are packed into boxes. Mostly empty, sometimes collapsed, often stacked, with flaps open or closed, the box—that most elemental of forms — has played a significant role in my work for years now.
In this series, I show boxes in a more absurd, near-animate representation with finger holes for eyes, as if the boxes that contain our discarded lives have taken on a life of their own. Ghostly, finger-like images can float out of one box and hold up another. Drawings and scraps of paper with old titles and cut-out dates are pasted randomly on the surface to hint at the passing of time.
Since the mid-1990s, my process has been to make and photograph objects and then create paintings from these photographs. I continue to combine all these processes into individual works on paper, wood, and canvas. I began using encaustic (wax) to integrate photos and drawings through transfer processes and collage. The wax provides a unique method of layering and building images, colour, and meaning, while also unifying the surface and materiality of my work. While these worksmight seem a departure, I continue to explore themes of transience, emptiness, and cumulative loss and, ultimately, our inability to hang on to what is most meaningful to us — our homes and possessions, our workplaces and our lives.
© 2013 Betsy Rosenwald