Steven Spazuk uses a technique called Fumage to create his artwork. With a flame from a candle or torch used as a pencil, his works are formed through trails of soot. He then sculpts through the soot and gives shape to the painting to create art. Letting the fluidity of the soot direct his work, Spazuk adds to the process by creating images with emphasis on shadow and light. The images are created piece by piece, ultimately forming a mosaic. Spazuk concentrates on the small fragments of his images, deepening his viewer’s perceptions.
How did you get into creating art?
It was always clear to me that my life would be in art.
In 2001, I started to work with fire. The marks I leave on the paper are not scorches; they are traces of soot. A fine depot of carbon black. This technique called Fumage has been used in art for a very long time… probably since the prehistoric ages, by cavemen. Personally I have been relentless in exploring its potential and creative possibilities.
What inspires your work? Is there a particular message you try to portray through your work?
Fire to me is so inspiring. Fire consumes, warms, and illuminates, but can also bring pain and death; thus, its symbolic meaning varies wildly, depending upon the context of its use. I mostly use it to talk about life’s fragility. Exploring this fragility is the very essence of my work as a fire artist. The soot depot on paper is extremely fragile, it can easily be altered by any contact. Anything that brushes or touches the soot will leave its trace…
What kind of shapes and designs do you decide to incorporate in your work and why?
I guess that my many years working in advertising and design gave me that style of synthesis and simple images. I view a live bird as a symbol of freedom and hope. Let this be an inspiration for change.
Do you plan to go further in your art and explore new mediums?
I still need to work with fire, but I want to explore other ways of expression. I was thinking of working eventually with milk. The complete opposite of fire and black soot…White liquid. Milk is symbolically very rich.
Are you currently working on anything? If so, what?
Presently I am between two shows, so I am kind of gathering my energies and my inspirations before the next rush coming soon in September.