Monday, 19 November 2012


As the presentation given last week, I hope I have made it clear
art for me is the art for me !
now to narrow down my area of research,
i'd like to talk about an artist that works with animal blood.

  • Born 1977, New York City
  • Lives in NYC, Works in NJ

  • "Blood, procured from a slaughterhouse, is the primary medium in my works. Through my experimental, invented process, I encase blood in plexiglass and UV resin. This preservation technique permanently retains the organic material's natural colors, patterns, and textures. The works become relics of that which was once living, embodying transformation, regeneration and an allegory of death to life.

    I use various mark-making methods, including layering the blood at different densities as well as heating, burning, and aging the material. Copper, a conductor of electricity, is sometimes mixed with the blood, imparting a unique, fiery energy. Blood-soaked gauze, stretched over the surface, creates another textural layer that serves as a map of memory and homage to ancient wrapping rituals. In some instances, blood that has decomposed for years forms dense masses that are ground into dust and tossed into the works, as a sign of passing and change.

    When lit, the works become translucent, cast shadows, and project a glow, appearing as if they are illuminated from within. The materials and luminosity in these bodies of work relate to themes of corporeality, mortality, spirituality, and science—invigorating blood as sublime. " Jordan Eagles

    Part of what fueled his experiment was a conversation at college with his best friend Greg about life after death. Eagles decided to create a series of paintings that would act as a counter-argument to these debates. He initially used red paint to bring scientific illustrations of childbirth to life. “The problem was that the paint was not capturing the root of that emotional charge that represents life, so I decided to go down to Chinatown and get a pint of blood instead,” says Eagles.
    After creating the pieces for the childbirth series, they naturally changed shade over time. “The colors changed from a pretty vibrant red, to a darker crimson and then to brown,” says Eagles of the oxidation process. In a bid to learn how to stop this decomposition, he set about on a trial and error experiment using heat, electricity, different drying methods and other organic matter to transform this substance of life.
    While he insists his approach doesn’t stem from any preconceptions or connotations attached to the material, his work is nevertheless replete with symbolism. Copper finds a central place because it is a conductor of electricity, gauze because it is a means of wrapping and preserving wounds. He describes his usual approach as that of a maximalist, which he tried to avoid with his current work: “I tried to be more minimal with Hemofields, trying to reduce and isolate the process.”
    It is clear that Eagles is somewhat keen to steer away from the shock value that many critics associate with the use of organic materials. He also professes to being largely oblivious to others’ work: “I had no context for what I was doing in terms of what has been done before – it was more about presenting my artwork to my friend as an aha!”
    Hermann Nitsch, part of the Viennese Actionism movement of the 1960s and 1970s, is thought of as one of the earliest artists using blood as a means of expression – though Nitsch is often perceived as being ritualistic and existential. More recently, British artist Marc Quinn’s self-portrait cast of his head using his own blood was met with much controversy.


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