Since April 2001 Steven Spazuk aka The Fire Painter has been exploring a unique medium and approach to creating poignant images which challenge the relationship between humanity and the natural world around us.
The technique of drawing or painting with fire is called Fumage. Steven often suggests it is a means of mark making as old as humanity itself as illustrated by cave paintings using charcoal and carbon. In the art world Fumage it allied to the surrealist’s attraction toward automatic mark making as used in the early 20th century by Wolfgang Paalen, Salvador Dali and Roberto Matta amongst others.
For Steven the medium adds to his dialogue exploring the fragility and ephemeral nature of our world “Fire consumes, warms, and illuminates,” he explains, “but can also bring pain and death; thus, its symbolic meaning varies wildly, depending upon the context of its use. I mostly use it to talk about life's fragility.
Exploring this fragility is the very essence of my work as a fire artist.” The spontaneity, shared techniques and desire to initiate dialogues through art align Steven’s work with The Art of Protest Gallery’s desire to share art that encourages us to really look. Sometimes the wow of process supersedes the final image but with Steven we get the best of both worlds a magically unique technique and a beautiful work of fine art sculpted from the clouds of smoke.