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STRUCTURED NEBULA, 2008
22" x 30", acrylic on paper - $7,500
KALTENBACH ANNOTATIONS: It's not unusual for the title of a work to come to me before the details of the piece. I liked the oxymoron sense that this name provides: Structured vs. Nebulous. This is a project to arrange the stars, gas, and dust of a nebula into the form of a torus. This piece is me wreaking wanton environmental destruction. I think of it as a metaphor for everything excessive that we do. Luckily this work will remain impossible because it certainly shouldn't be done; on a cosmic scale even interesting ideas become bad. This is what we do to nature as soon as we learn how and the more powerful we become the bigger we do it. I see these works as satiric commentary on the world-destroying actions of the Military - Industrial Complex. This is my rationale for having fun with my inner Walter Mitty.
This project to restructure the cosmos into a photo-realistic image began in 1978 with the 'Crystal Ought', a painting on black velour craft paper of a star cluster with nebular gas and dust arranged to give the appearance of a crystal torus lit by a light of divine brilliance. I have painted numerous versions of this piece over the years.
In this series I often work on archival surfaces but I am drawn to working on paper that has a clearly limited life span. This is partially due to my strategy to direct my art expression toward professionals who are working in adjacent disciplines, in this case preservation. Most central to this interest though, are the poetic and philosophic aspects of the temporal nature of art and the artist.
WORKS THAT RELATE TO STRUCTURED NEBULA:
Chrystal Ought, 1978 to present
20" x 27", Acrylic and pastel, $7,500
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