Paradox of the medusas

Paradox of the medusas
Acrylic, collage, and ink on canvas. 16 x 20″. 2020.

My jellyfish began as a means of exploring different collage techniques more than a specific artistic vision. My previous collages on canvas used the cut or torn paper primarily as an abstract textural element, while any figurative aspects were created on top with acrylic paint. But in this case I wanted to rely on the physical shapes of the cut paper more than the shapes I painted. The result is a heavily layered tangle of tentacles cut from an old election pamphlet and stained with ink. The final layer of acrylic paint doesn’t add new elements so much as emphasize the shading of the paper shapes to create more visual depth.

Similar to past works such as Successful weeds, I incorporated a few clippings from nature magazines and books. I found the title in a choice quote stating that the “paradox of the medusas or bell-shaped jellyfish” is that “they’re both menacing and delicate at the same time,” which can be found in the clipping in the upper right corner of the piece.