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A Box of Crayons The artwork of Christian Faur

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Artist Statement As an artist, I am much inspired by the elegant, multi-layered structures of the physical world. My studies in the natural sciences have led me to appreciate the hidden layers of complexity present in even the simplest objects. In my work, I try to mimic these structures by developing systems and forms with which I can express thoughts and ideas, so that the medium and the message appear as one. I strive to bridge the material limitations of what can and cannot be “said� by making the medium the message. This intertwining of form and content can be seen most directly in my most recent work, in which I bring into play hand-cast crayons, shredded paper, dollar bills, and the English alphabet that I translated into color. In this body of work I used an intricate digital mapping technique to deconstruct imagery down to pixels. Tens of thousands of handcasted crayons of precise tones and colors are assembled in wooden frames to produce an art form that balances both the qualities of photography and sculpture. From a distance, these pieces look like highly pixelated images while close up all one sees are individual crayons.

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Where the Sidewalk Ends ~5,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 19.5 inches by 19.5 inches

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Boy with Glasses, 2010 (detail opposite page) ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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The Land Surveyors Excerpt from solo show press release “The Land Surveyor” that took place at the Kim Foster Gallery in 2010. “Faur starts out with photographs taken during the Great Depression as a reference to our current economic and social climate. Portraits of anonymous individuals in desolate, empty landscapes make up a gallery of the powerful and the powerless. Inspired by Franz Kafka’s novel The Castle where the protagonist seeks to find work as a land-surveyor but gets caught up in the system’s bureaucracy, the title of the show serves as a metaphor for the impenetrability of a political system that enables greed and corruption and leaves the individual at the whim of those in power. Faur then reconstructs these gray photographs with hundreds of differently colored crayons to give them back the lost color of their time. This idea is to be understood quite literally: although full color in film had been available in the 30’s, cost did not permit its use. The economic climate had removed color not only metaphorically from everyday life experiences but also from the aesthetic possibilities of its times. His unique crayon process suggests elements from both high and low culture, from mass market products like Lite-Bright to Seurat’s technique of pointillism.”

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The Land Surveyor Series

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WPA Portrait 9, 2010 ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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WPA Portrait 3, 2010 ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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In the Flat Fields, 2010 (detail opposite page) ~12,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 30 inches by 40 inches

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WPA Portrait 4, 2010 ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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WPA Portrait 7, 2010 ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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WPA Portrait 1, 2010 ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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WPA Portrait 12, 2010 ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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The Land Surveyors, 2010 (details previous and opposite page) ~20,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 60 inches by 30 inches

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WPA Portrait 5, 2010 ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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WPA Portrait 6, 2010 ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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WPA Portrait 16, 2010 (various detail shots opposite page) ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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Anonymity III (diptych), 2010 ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons each panel 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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Anonymity I (diptych), 2010 ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons each panel 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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Anonymity II (diptych), 2010 ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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Anonymity II (diptych), 2010 ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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Winds, 2010 ~15,000 hand cast encaustic crayons (detail opposite page) 50 inches by 30 inches

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WPA Portrait 2, 2010 ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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WPA Portrait 15, 2010 ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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WPA Portrait 14, 2010 (various detail shots opposite page) ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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WPA Portrait 11, 2010 ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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WPA Portrait 8, 2010 ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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WPA Portrait 13, 2010 (various detail shots opposite page) ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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Monochrome Works

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Ultramarine, 2011 ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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Viridian, 2011 ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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Woman in Bath, 2008 ~4,800 hand cast encaustic crayons 19.5 inches by 19.5 inches

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The Color Purple, 2009 ~4,800 hand cast encaustic crayons 19.5 inches by 19.5 inches

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Experimental Series Taking a “rule based” approach with the same image, I created a series of experimental crayon works intended on pushing the boundaries of the crayon techniques that I developed. These rules take on several forms, such as the physical interweaving of monochrome tonal sets of crayons, creating stripes and polka dots, to the complete randomization of colored crayons on a linear tonal scale. This “rule based” analog process is very similar to the mathematical functions called “filters,” which are often applied to digital images, but in this case both the pixels and the process are analog in nature.

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Experimental Series of Melodies

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Melodie 2, blue and yellow, rule 2011 ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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Melodie 3, full color inversion rule, 2011 ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches


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Melodie 9, polkadot rule (cyan and brown), 2011 ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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Melodie 7, polkadot rule (gray and pink), 2011 ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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Melodie 5, linear random tone, 2011 ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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Melodie 11, honeycomb rule, 2011 ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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Melodie 6, striped rule, 2011 ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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Melodie 1, 50’s pink, 2011 (detail opposite page) ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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Melodie 8, polkadot rule (avocado and purple), 2011 ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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Melodie 12, polkadot rule (blue and speckeled) 2011 ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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Melodie 10, polkadot rule (brown and speckeled) 2011 ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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Artist Statement My earliest memories of making art involve the use of wax crayons. I can still remember the pleasure of opening a new box of crayons: the distinct smell of the wax, the beautifully colored tips, everything still perfect and unused. Using the first crayon from a new box always gave me a slight pain. Through a novel technique I developed, I again find myself working with the familiar form of the crayon. Because of the three-dimensional nature of the crayons, the individual surface images appear to change form as one moves about the gallery space. The images completely disappear when viewed from up close allowing one to take in the beautifully colored crayon tips, all the while being reminded of that first box of crayons.

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Miscellaneous Works

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The Golden Hour, 2010 (detail opposite page) ~8,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 28.5 inches by 28.5 inches

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The Jacket, 2009 ~15,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 30 inches by 50 inches

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Girl with Glasses, 2010 ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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True Color Girl, 2008 ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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Girl, 2010 ~2,000 hand cast encaustic crayons 13.5 inches by 13.5 inches

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Boy, 2009 ~4,800 hand cast encaustic crayons 19.5 inches by 19.5 inches

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81 Rochester Row, London SW1P 1LJ 0044 (0)207 233 8755 0044 (0)7590 527 332 www.maugermodern.com info@maugermodern.com

A Box of Crayons - The Artwork of Christian Faur  

Christian Faur’s crayon art exemplifies a unique and exciting new technique. Instead of utilizing traditional medium such as oil paint, past...