Howard Hersh is internationally known for his mastery of the ancient technique of encaustic painting, which involves the use of molten beeswax and pure pigment, resulting in luminescent, richly layered works. Working in this organic and moody medium, Hersh has perfected his ability to manipulate the wax: to confine it in areas and let it spread freely in others, creating elegant layers of translucent color. In his newest works, Hersh pushes this technique to new innovative heights. Evoking both the imposed structure of the man-made world through geometry, and the power of nature and organic forms to re-assert themselves, Hersh's complex abstract works speaks poetically and powerfully about the possibility of resolution between the organic and the man-made. Hersh's paintings seem to live and glow with an interior light, and their smooth, seductive textures engage our tactile sense as well as our vision.
The title of a recent exhibit, No Separation, sums up the themes I've been working with for years in my paintings. It is my belief that separation is a concept invented by the mind. Truly, there are only relationships. Whether earth, air, water, plant, or animal; they are all made up of molecules. They touch and interact. Time and space as well have proven to be intrinsically linked. Even thoughts acting as the collective unconscious are connected.
By combining disparate elements, such as nature and architecture, and making the picture pleasing to look at, I am demonstrating this point. By peering through the various layers in my paintings, the viewer can distinguish different elements, but sees them as a whole. The world, which we think of as a whole, is an incredible stew of shapes, sizes, colors, events, and sensations, similar to the picture plane of a painting. Also, by playing with scale, I can illustrate relationships in our micro and macro environments.
In a sense, by creating works that convey harmony to draw the viewer in, I am adding to the family of connectiveness. Just like spanning the gap between the artists' hand and eye, I hope my paintings span the gap of separation that people imagine exists in the mind.
Marquee, encaustic on wood panel, 72x60
New Community 2, encaustic on wood panel, 48x48
New Community 3, encaustic on wood panel, 33x48
Lineback 5, encaustic on wood panel, 70x40
Network 5, oil and resin on panel, overall dimensions: 50x50
Small World, encaustic on wood panel, 33x32
Seasonal A, encaustic on wood panel, 24x24
Seasonal B, encaustic on wood panel, 24x24
Seasonal C, encaustic on wood panel, 24x24
Seasonal D, encaustic on wood panel, 24x24
Straight Forward Curves, encaustic on wood panel, 80x60