Madonna of Dark Matter

On April 28, 2013, in Art, by Dire Wolf

Madonna of Dark Matter
36″ x 48″
Acrylic on Canvas
2013

This painting explores the concept of Dark Matter. Dark Matter (and Dark Energy) are yet unproven scientific theories which help explain the 80% of our universe which we cannot see. While Dark Matter and Dark Energy are invisible to us, we can detect their existence from the effects of their gravity.  I find the various theories about Dark Matter interesting and sometimes ridiculous.  The reality is that nobody knows what it is.

I like to think that whatever Dark Matter is, its heavy.  It could also exist in another dimension – hidden in the folds of our “normal” space/time.  It probably follows the same general “rules” which other matter does,  but we should be careful not to assume too much.

With these notions in mind I created this Madonna icon with deep, draping folds which cradle a heavy object.  The object is my representation of Dark Matter as a particle, modeled on an armillary.  Armillary spheres were used in antiquity to model the heavens and the movements of planets, constellations, etc.  They were fantastic pieces of technology for their time, however, as geo-centric models they created a reality based on belief, not fact.  Galileo’s story comes to mind.

I use the armillary as a cautionary metaphor to remind us that theories often describe ourselves more than reality.

The painting itself is very dark, created with deep glazed hues of metallic blue contrasted with copper, silver, 24k gold, and black metal flake.  The use of metallic colors and under-bases means that this painting changes depending on the angle at which its viewed. The smooth glazing of the figure is further accentuated by a richly textured background.

This painting’s blue color is about the exact opposite of the fluorescent orange hues used in the Madonna of the Particle.  However, the sister-paintings share the same common geometry, ratios, and curves found in sub-atomic particle collisions as well as our larger universe.

Chris Shaw
April 2013

The Madonna of Dark Matter and other work by Chris Shaw, currently on exhibit at The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art – Caffe Museo, until June 2013.  151 Third St., San Francisco, Ca.  Open everyday except Wednesdays.  Cafe exhibit is free.

Dark Matter by Chris Shaw, 2013

Chris Shaw Dark Matter layout

Armillary Sphere

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Soundgarden at Fox Theater silkscreen poster by Chris Shaw

Soundgarden silkscreen poster by Chris Shaw
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Fox Theater – Oakland, CA
6 Colors on 20″ x 33″ Cougar stock
Edition of 250
Signed & Numbered

I was thrilled to do this poster. I love Soundgarden, its a local show, and better, it meant I got to work with my good pal Chuck Sperry printin’ at Hangar 18. This is the second of a pair of posters for Soundgarden’s Oakland shows at the Fox on the 12th and 13th of Feb. The first poster is a beauty by Chuck that can be seen at www.chucksperry.net

Chuck and I decided on some collaboration to make the 2 posters a loose pair – though an odd pair they may be. After deciding on a size, color format, and a general theme riffing on Soundgarden’s “King Animal” album title, we both simply did our thing.

My poster’s image is The Madonna of the Squid. Modern Icons are a theme I’ve worked with for a long time, mainly with paintings, but occasionally they make it onto rock posters as well. I conceived a Giant Squid incorporated into a classic orthodox Madonna. Chuck was working with ideas about power, privilege and State. My image is about the many tentacles of the Church. Church & State. Its not intended to be a dark piece or brash political statement, but, like most of my work there’s some underlying metaphors. I won’t get into it deeply here, however, I will say that I don’t particularly like squids and sea monsters, yet they fascinate me.

The screenprint sizzles with 6 colors, including gold and silver, creating some killer metallic color effects. I also used a transparent black ink for the black plate which brings out some deep tones and textures with the underlying ink layers. Many of the metallic textures and mezzotints were created by hand with wax on old-school blueline, the piece has a real analog feel. A big thanks to Chuck for his expertise and alchemy to make this print look great.

Soungarden silkscreen posters by Chris Shaw

Soundgarden Show poster by Chris Shaw

Soundgar­den at the Fox Theater, Oakland
February 13, 2013
SHOW POSTER

6 Col­ors on 20″ x 33″ Cougar stock
Screenprinted Edi­tion of 250
Signed & Numbered

Sold Out – Thank You

 

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Soundgarden (Green Metallic Gold Variant) poster by Chris Shaw

SoundgarÂden at the Fox Theater, Oakland
February 13, 2013
SILVER Variant

6 Col­ors on 20″ x 33″ metallic silver stock
Variant Edi­tion of 16
Signed & Numbered

Sold Out – Thank You

_____
Soundgarden Show poster by Chris Shaw

Soundgar­den at the Fox Theater, Oakland
February 13, 2013
BLUE / GOLD Variant

5 Col­ors on 20″ x 33″ metallic gold stock
Variant Edi­tion of 12
Signed & Numbered

Sold Out – Thank You
_____
Soundgarden (Green Metallic Gold Variant) poster by Chris Shaw

Soundgar­den at the Fox Theater, Oakland
February 13, 2013
GREEN / GOLD Variant

6 Colors on 20″ x 33″ metallic gold stock
Variant Edi­tion of 4
Signed & Numbered

– NOT AVAILABLE –

 

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Public Image Ltd poster by Chris Shaw

On December 6, 2012, in Posters, Silkscreen, by Dire Wolf

Public Image Ltd silkscreen poster by Chris Shaw

Public Image Ltd silkscreen poster Chris Shaw
October 25, 2012
The Regency Ballroom – San Francisco, CA
Firehouse-Goldenvoice series #174
Edition of 160
Signed & Numbered

Currently Unavailable

This Kim Jong-illin’ 4 color silkscreen poster includes metallic ink!

 

 

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