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Máscaras de cerillas

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http://www.davidmach.com/sculpture/sculmatchframes.htm

I made my first matchhead in 1982. Kinskihead was a response to a reviewer comparing one of my magazine installations to a weekend modeller making a ship or the Eiffel Tower out of matches. The reviewer talked about matches as if their rightful place was at the bottom of the materials league. I was puzzled by this and immediately attracted to this underdog. Of course the reviewer was referring to modellers who don't use matches but just matchsticks, small pieces of wood. Live matches offer an entirely different proposition. The first head, Kinskihead, was set alight by mistake. It was originally made out of blue and red matches but once burnt they became different shades of grey ash. What interests me is the violence and power involved in that change and the fact that this performance comes from such a cheap, throwaway, almost non-material.

Since that first head I have made dozens of matchheads. I am very interested in colouring and markings as well as structure. But in fact it is easy for me to jump from an animal like a giraffe in order to explore the colour and make-up of those markings to a larger than life-size human head and back to a tiny African mask and back again to a gigantic head of a tyrannosaurus rex. All of the heads, large or small, involve a ridiculously detailed building process - something they have in common with the magazine installations, coathanger pieces and my other work.

There doesn't seem to be any limit to the subject matter and of course they all have that lethal incendiary device capability. In fact you can describe three clear lives to these sculptures: the original head with colour; the performance of burning it; and the burned head, instantly aged black and white version of the original. Not bad for a nothing material.

I am working on a new series of predators; watch out for a tyrannosaurus rex. Look for the poster of the burning skull…

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