The Fire That Ignites Steven Spazuk

In the April 2016 issue of The Artist’s Magazine we profiled mixed media artist Steven Spazuk and his unusual choice in medium in our “Artist’s Life” column. Below is a more in-depth conversation with the artist, along with more images of his work. Be sure to order your copy of the April 2016 issue here, or click here to subscribe to The Artist’s Magazine!

Song of joy, 2015, by Steve Spazuk, mixed media artist

Song of joy (soot on gesso panel, 16×14)

“I have a bachelor’s degree from Université Laval in Québec City in Fine Arts. I was very shy when I was younger, and was always drawing something. People started seeing me as an artist, which sort of programmed me to become one from the start.

Fire came to me in a dream. I started using it as a medium in 2001, and it has been my focus ever since. Fire is so inspiring. It consumes, warms and illuminates, but can also bring pain and death; thus, its symbolic meaning varies wildly, depending on 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.

 

Smoky Saxophone by Steve Spazuk mixed media artist

Smoky Saxophone (soot on gesso-prepared wooden panel, 30×20)

Most of the time when I start working on a piece, I don’t know what I’m going to get out of it, and that is the joy of working with fire. I let the drawings appear without controlling anything; I put the flame to the paper and let a shape reveal itself. I wait for a figurative revelation while I search the abstract form.

More recently, my work has been more planned out and less is left to chance. I feel that I need to talk about my preoccupations in my work, life’s fragility and the place we occupy on our planet. I’m concerned by all ecosystems, and my subjects are often endangered animals.

If you’re truly authentic, your uniqueness has already taken you outside of the box.”

Song of Peace by Steven Spazuk mixed media artist

Song Of Peace (soot on gesso panel, 16×14)

To see more of Spazuk’s work, visit his website here.

You may also like these articles: