Elana Herzog : creation through destruction

Peacock detail

I studied Elana Herzog’s work during my art A Level; I was really drawn to the innovative qualities of her artwork. The artworks I studied were all created using her unique technique of intensively stapling pieces of fabric to dry wall. Herzog follows the patterns of the material with her staples, but leaves a few sections untouched. The fabric is then torn away from the wall leaving some areas of dense fabric and other areas where a few threads are anchored by the staples. From afar it appears as if the fabric has disintegrated; at first glance I thought her work was made using coloured sand. Close up, the staples become a ghost of the fabric; the patterns remain even though the fabric is no longer there.

When I was looking through Herzog’s website I discovered some of her later work which is paper based. These pieces are created using scraps of different fabric and paper pulp. They echo the idea of torn up fabric from her previous work; the paper pulp replacing the staples. I think the colours in particular make Herzog’s work so visually pleasing; the powdery pastels reflect the delicate nature of her pieces, there isn’t any harshness. But there is also an aggressive side; her work is created through the destruction of materials. Herzog’s work is two sided, you can choose to see the nice side or the darker one, and it’s up to you which one you want to see.

Photos: http://www.elanaherzog.com/index.html

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