Gold Leaf Paintings

While working on The Box London murals with Molly Crabapple, we decided to gild several pieces of the giant fox chase mural. I had learned a little bit about gilding back in college at SVA, having taken two semesters of the hugely esoteric Illuminated Manuscripts class. While I no longer hand make my own egg tempera or work on animal skin parchment (still my favourite surface to work on to date), I still managed to remember a bit about how to gold leaf & still utilize it. The Box mural reignited my love of working with such a decadent material and I found myself wanting to integrate it into a new series of works.
While mulling this over, I visited the Alexander McQueen exhibit in NYC and fell in love with a dress that had gold drips silkscreened onto sumptous black silk. I wanted to recreate this with gold leaf, so I whipped out my jar of aquasize and did a few splatters and drips. Amazingly, the gold leaf picked up the tiniest of details and looked amazing. I loved the appearance of liquid gold running down the surface of the painting and was intrigued by ways I could continue to push this thin sheet medium into ways that we’re not used to seeing it. When most people think of gold leaf, they see flat backgrounds, graphic tooled halos and the like. I like challenging my own expectations, so I’ve begun a series of paintings experimenting with liquid size & sheets of 24k gold leaf.

Additionally, while visiting NYC Resistor one night, my friend & fellow maker of things, Matthew Borgatti taught me how to use the laser cutter so I could test out creating stencils that I could use a can of Air-o-size with to create stenciled gold leaf designs. The final images in this gallery show those results, which was tested on a scrap piece of cardboard (pizza box) and inexpensive metallic gold leaf that I like to use for tests.

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