For his solo gallery debut last February at NYC's Eleven Rivington, Jacob Kassay showed a series of monochrome paintings that documented the process of their creation:
They are primed, composed, painted and prepared on canvas in the studio and then finished by a process similar to mirror / silver plating. In these works, alchemy is an integral part of a mixed media practice that presents illumination and transformation as primary subjects.Should point out that the silvering process scorches the raw canvas around the edges, giving them--I love this--"the appearance of elegantly abused luxury goods." They looked eerie and spectacular, familiar and new, a really incredible debut. I just saw more of Kassay's work last week, made with a related-but-different process I don't remember, exactly, and it looked just as interesting.
Kassay’s training is in photography and he has translated many of the medium’s essential techniques and concepts into his painting practice. This includes the basic photographic printing principle in which a support is coated with a medium that is then dipped, bathed, transformed and ‘fixed’ as an image. Kassay applied and developed this premise to painting, using silver – a precious metal used variously from jewelry and silverware to electrical conduction – as a catalyst for his work.
Jacob Kassay | February 14 – March 29, 2009 [elevenrivington.com]
Review of Jacob Kassay's show [16miles.com]