Bizarre: Artist Uses Blood To Create His Paintings

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Jordan Eagles creates images with copper, resin and animal blood.

“The fundamental issue underlying all my work is regeneration,” Mr. Eagles said one recent afternoon at Krause Gallery, 149 Orchard Street in Manhattan. “It’s taking something that is no longer alive and brings it back to life through art.”

“It is my belief that the blood has a certain power and energy to it,” said Mr. Eagles, 35, who lives in Manhattan. “So what we try to do is create a display of exhibitions where viewers can have an experience with material that they normally cannot have close contact with.”

Mr. Eagles, who gets his preserved blood from an animal slaughterhouse in New Jersey, began tinkering with it as a medium, as an art student in New York University in 1998. While working on a series of paintings depicting child birth, I tried to use red paint to symbolize blood.

“I was dripping red paint and it really was not doing anything. It was too flat, and it did not bring the images to life,” said Mr. Eagles.

“So instead of trying to be symbolic with the material, I went to a butcher in Chinatown and bought a couple of containers of blood. I returned to my bedroom and started dripping real blood and it invigorated the pictures immediately. There was something very alive about it.”

But in the course of a year, the blood on the painting began to change colors from red to brown, prompting him to experiment with ways to preserve the vibrant color of blood.

“Through years of trial and error, I started applying layers of transparent Plexiglas and then preserve it with layers of resin, allowing the high-gloss surface for the fluid.

I am not the first artist to use blood instead of paint,” said Mr. Eagles, “and my works are completely sealed and protected. There are no health risks.”


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