Encaustic Panels

LA PIEL

2001

Abaca Paper / Encaustic and Bee Wax
Photos by Grimanesa Amorós Studio

ARTIST STATEMENT (English)

“La Piel” is part of a body of encaustic panels originating from the set entitled “Snow and Grass.” The statement for that set discusses some of the underlying ideas and methods in this piece and the others.
Driving home from a laboratory, where I had encountered Petri dishes in various stages, I noticed the tones and marks of my own skin. I stopped the car and examined the marks very closely with a magnifying glass. I looked closely at a deep cut, and it reminded me of the burned children I had taken care of as a teenager, when I worked at a hospital in Peru. This was the inception of the “La Piel” series of encaustic works.
In this piece, I approach the skin as a complex organism composed of textures beyond the plains of sexual health that are so often promoted in media. Our skin shows disease and imperfection as well as it does health, and I seek to evoke all of its textures. The depressions show the dark reds and browns beneath, in mottled patterns, with yet further layers of white beyond that. The piece shows the depth of skin and traces of what lies behind it.