This is the first of several articles showing the work in progress on a piece I recently commissioned from local artist Flora Davis. I had first met Davis at Open Studios in 2008. I purchased a small cat painting at the time but also reflected on how it might be interesting to combine it with her more recent work that explored abstract metallic surfaces, including series of metal boxes. When I met her again this spring, I proposed the idea of doing a series of metal boxes to be placed together with the cat painting Zeus, and we are now going ahead with it!
Part of the process was choosing the sizes for boxes and then the materials/textures for them. Here are the initial sized boxes along with the cat painting:
As one can see, they range in size from only a few inches to almost as large as the original painting. In the final piece, they can placed in any number of arrangements around or near the painting, the idea being for one element to overwhelm the others, and to maintain a sense of straight lines and the square shapes without conforming to a single grid.
Next, it was time to select the exact squares from the various metallic surfaces:
The metal surfaces are quite complex and rich in color and texture. This one with the turqoise/green patina was perhaps the most complex, and thus I wanted it for the smallest of the boxes. Overall, the colors and textures of the various surfaces tended towards browns, greens and reds that picked up elements of the painting.
Here are some of the metal textures seen in place with the boxes and the cat:
With all the materials and dimensions now specified, the next step will be to cut the surfaces and adhere them to the boxes. We will see the results in an upcoming article soon!