I visited a couple of galleries in Chelsea during lunch and one of the galleries that I stopped by was the Merge Gallery where Jordan Eagles is exhibiting his ‘paintings’.

PHASE 1-2; 72″x44″; blood preserved on white Plexiglas, resin

As far as process goes, he uses cow blood trapped between sheets of UV resistant epoxy resin, lets the light play through the myriad textures formed out of the alternating layers of crusted blood of varied thickness and the result is pretty good. When you look at the work closely in person the alternating layers of deep red definitely lends the pieces a strange surreal beauty and looks mesmerizing – turn the lights down and the works start to glow refracting any available light through the layered epoxy resin. I enjoyed it in a surreal sense…

I filched the following from Jordan’s statement for this show.

In this series, I allow the forms and materiality to stand at the forefront, presenting an unbiased reflection of mortality, spirituality and infinity, while still offering the viewer space for a visceral and primal response. Some say they see in the work the astral origins of life while others see gunshot wounds. Regardless, the use of a flesh-based material to explore something as seemingly intangible as the spirit imparts a profound balance.

FK1; 36″x44″; blood, preserved on white Plexiglas, resin

I remember getting out of the gallery thinking the following:

Would this talented artist have gained a gallery show if he had used oil paints trapped in resin to develop the exact same shapes? My guess is no. I think he managed to elicit attention because he used blood – an attention seeker (like the chocolate in Jesus sculpture). This also reminded me of another artist Chris Ofili, who uses elephant shit and resin in his paintings (he won a Turner Prize in 1998)…

I guess the key to looking at art of this nature is to just imbibe the visual and extrasensory effects when you are in the presence of artworks like these. Of course, it again got me thinking along the classic lines of – Is this art or is this decoration? I am not so sure and I will leave it to you.

The art world today is an exciting and a fun place to be, provided you approach it with the right context.

ORB/FK; 44″x36″; blood preserved on white Plexiglas, resin

PS : I may be a little late in responding to this post as I will be at the hospital with my wife assisting in whatever way I can during the birth of our second child.