Sarah A. Smith creates shimmering gold drawings with a combination of gold metal leaf, corrosive, ink, and pencil on paper. After she arranges the metal leaf that was mined and manufactured in China, she brushes it with copper sulfate, causing a chemical reaction that tarnishes and corrodes the gold metal along the surface of the paper. In the natural environment, this erosion process can take hundreds of years to complete. ”The oxidation illustrates pollution, disintegration, transformation of elements, changes, and the passage of time,” Smith says. The result is an incredibly detailed and textured series that while extravagant is also evocative of restraint because it emerges from a process of decay. (via my modern met and diablo magazine)
It’s difficult to tell who is the artist in this work. Hubert Duprat began working with caddisfly larvae in the 1980′s. The caddisfly live in streams and use bits from their natural surroundings to create a casing to live in. Typically this is made up of pebbles, wood, plants, and so on. Duprat moved these caddisfly larvae to a new surrounding and delicately removed their outer shells The caddisfly than used the precious metals and stones of their new home to create strangely glamorous shells. It’s interesting to note the particular materials and patterns the larvae tend toward. The flies’ “creativity” and Duprat’s conspicuously absent hand in work makes it extremely intriguing.