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Trained as an oil painter since my youth, I have specialized over the last ten years (since 1998) in a magnificent medium that remains unusual in the United States despite its potential, namely Asian lacquer or urushi (after its Japanese name). Urushi is an art that reflects the esthetic sensibility of the Asian soul. Its mysterious beauty and universal appeal has always fascinated me, and thus urushi has become my primary medium of artistic expression.
Urushi is a viscous organic sap that is tapped from several species of Asian trees. It is a highly resilient and durable medium that is impervious to water, heat, mold, and insects; it has very strong adhesive properties and polymerizes when curing; and it provides a full array of gorgeous effects of textures, depths, layers, colors, light, and shine. As the years go by and the pieces age, their colors keep getting richer and more intense.
My non-traditional use of urushi has led me to discover how well it adapts to the demands of contemporary art. Lacquer painting produces visual effects that I cannot obtain with other media. I have produced a large number of two- and three-dimensional abstract paintings, usually on wood, but also on extruded polystyrene and fiberglass.
Photograph by Thomas Mueller (Carmel, IN)