Pyrogragraphy: The Unveiling of Fire, the Art of Flame.

Twist O’ Fate by Alex Peter Idoko is a pyrography painting. It is a form of hyperrealism, the wood which is mostly the natural medium the artist turn to for his expression is burnt, though not into ashes. I would prefer to call this medium the “desire to burn”. Here the artist burns the wood in all required tones he does this smoothly, harmoniously, and without spots to bring out the uniqueness of pyrography.
This painting infers self unveiling or unearthing; a dead identity giving way to a new one. The subject is a man with half of his face being peeled away by an external being to reveal a “new face”, though only the hand is visible in action. The hand could mean Providence doing her work of the rebirth while the man stares into his fate, “new world”. There is the break out of sweat on the man’s face. Surely the process of the rebirth of identity is not an easy one.
The black dark of the unveiled face is distinctive and the sepia of the outer self which is the color of burnt wood, a derivation of brown, is earthy. With a metal implement heated in a fire, the artist added more contrast to darken the inner self using the black-dark colors burnt wood and creating a sepia color to the old peeling identity bringing out a dramatic form. These burnt wood tones are the beautiful subtle effects used to create the subject showing the artistic value of the artwork. The gradual contrast from the brown, earthy tone to the black dark tones work well for the aim of this art piece. The graduating color, from the old self being peeled away to the new being that is being revealed stands out.
The subject of the painting is an energetic and confident one, ready to show the world what he has to offer. Impatience and expectancy in his eyes like a man expecting the news of the safe delivery of his pregnant wife. He looks untamed but he is not a savage, just as the fire too in its untamed nature crackles and roars giving way unsavagely to the whistling ember, he allows the inner self to be realized and given a chance of new birth. The peace and tranquility he will experience after this phase can not be imagined. The old self is now defeated, broken and hooded; it dies and fate is twisted, and now the fire bows and turns into ashes but inside life awaits in the whispering ember.
This painting does well to remind me of the legendary Phoenix, an immortal bird which I would like to compare to fire: it’s beautiful radiance, warm but solitary nature and above all its cycle of death and rebirth. The Phoenix, has it lives, constructs nest for himself with cinnamon, myrrh and frankincense weaving them into twigs, this will later become his funeral pyre dimensions as he approaches five hundred years of age, his glorious eyes dim and his feathers begin to fall out. As he grows weaker and on his five hundredth birthday he sings a haunting funeral song to himself and erupts into flames and his body is reduced to ashes…but within a short period of time from his ashes, a baby Phoenix arises. The death of the Phoenix is the beginning of his life again and a twist of fate. From the life cycle of the legendary Phoenix, self sacrifice and rebirth is represented as its destroys to recreate himself. The Phoenix as a bird for a very long time reminds that some situations in our lives can seem so consistent until fate takes her turn. Yes, even the Phoenix waits for five hundred years! And then life springs forth from the nothingness, fire whistles from the ember and the rebirth takes place…
This art piece, with fire as the medium can be likened to “the freedom series” by Silas Onoja, who uses also water as a major element in his works. Since wood burning has been in practice in past centuries, especially the nineteenth century, I have been hoping to see the artist paint historical subjects, ancients buildings, and scenes but he has done so well to change my perspective of the desire to burn by creating this art piece: Twist O’ Fate.

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4 thoughts on “Pyrogragraphy: The Unveiling of Fire, the Art of Flame.

  1. “The subject of the painting is an energetic
    and confident one, ready to show the world
    what he has to offer. Impatience and
    expectancy in his eyes like a man expecting
    the news of the safe delivery of his pregnant
    wife…”this is no doubt a beautiful work and a wonderful piece poignant with different interpretations be it sociopolitical or religious, economic or mystical. it portrays a truism that the human mind can aptly gravitate towards. we would choose to say it is akin to the recent defection seen in the National Assembly…obviously we are witnessing a paradigm shift in party affiliation and loyalty which is a prelude to what 2019 might just look like.

    Thanks Rossy for a job well done. It couldn’t have come at a better time.

    Liked by 1 person

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