With a nod to Andy Warhol’s Marilyn, Christian Faur, a crayon artist, continues to create original versions of his Melodie series. The end game is 100 variations. The series uses a single constant image of his daughter to explore in numerous iterations the weaving of color, tone, and pattern. It is Faur’s intent to push the boundaries of his crayon technique, allowing him the freedom to experiment with infinite possibilities.
Sum of Parts
While Christian Faur is internationally acclaimed for his portraits created by hand-cast crayons, this exhibition includes a wide range of material and genres. Among the pieces exhibited is Faur’s largest crayon work to date; shredded paper image moments before a nuclear test blast composed entirely of religious text; flag of dyed and sewn dollar bills; crayon portrait based on a Dorothea Lange photo in the FSA collection; umbrella of human hair; and print mapping the King James Bible to a color alphabet font.
“Each material has its own message” – Frank Lloyd Wright
The things that inspire me to create, I find, are buried deep within the structures and systems that form the underpinning of our natural world. My studies in the natural sciences have made me aware of these hidden layers of complexity present in even the simplest objects. These invisible layers are seen most clearly through the lens of logic, which is used to decipher the underlying rules and laws that govern the physical world.
In my work, I try to mimic these elegant structures of nature by developing systems of my own with which to express my thoughts and ideas, so that the medium and the message appear as one.
I think of it like a game, with a set of axioms that are established at the outset through the limitations of the material or forms from which the work is constructed, which then dictates what can and cannot be “said” within the boundaries of the chosen medium. This material limitation can also be a strength, as there is the potential to contain thoughts and ideas in unique ways, so that the “medium” can become the “message.” This intertwining of form and function can be seen most directly in my most recent work, which is comprised of crayons, shredded paper, dollar bills, and even a color based system of writing.
These systems function as a private language, that allows me to express many layers of meaning within each work that I create. I think of them as complex visual “poems,” which can redefine the way we think about the meaning of communication.
“What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence” – Ludwig Wittgenstein