Rusty Wolfe

Incised Lacquer on Panel

Rusty Wolfe is a self taught Nashville artist and sculptor. Wolfe has discovered that lacquer, when applied in various ways to such surfaces as plywood, paper, masonite and plexiglas, allows him to create colorful and often spontaneous images of great clarity. "I can do things with this medium that have never been done before." His only control is to put colors in place so they can interact. The colors, in effect, take it from there. Self-expression becomes secondary. "I feel I have a responsibility here, I feel like a tool of this new medium," he said. "It's so different from anything I've ever seen or come in contact with." The process behind the works in this series is especially complex. Not only do the circular motifs evoke a sense of spinning, the method of achieving them involves actual rotation as well. "Each painting has as many as 25 different colors and 25 different viscosities of lacquer," says Wolfe. Gravity and centrifugal force - painstakingly manipulated by the artist with specially designed tools - create the intricate striated patterns.