Material

Algae

By

Made in

Bioplastic 80 Paint 20 Pigment 50 Regenerative 55 Agar agar 23 Algae 12 Beeswax 6 Linen 3

Algae
Algae
Algae
Algae
Algae
Algae
Algae
Algae
Algae
Algae

Photos: Tom Delaisse

Bio pigments atelier

The contemporary art world finds itself in a strange situation nowadays. On one hand, contemporary art stands for the new; on the other, it’s become an old and saturated place. Galleries aren’t investing in the sustainable creation of art or motivating the artists to push in this direction.

Marius’ project Bio Pigments atelier aims to change this paradigm. It is a project that revolves around creating your own paints and, in his case, a collection of paintings made with micro-algae pigments. All the paintings here exhibited were made using two distinct techniques. The first one is based on the beeswax technique, something he found while researching ancient Egyptian art. Marius finds it fascinating how this technique, thousands of years old, is still perfectly applicable today, yet rarely used. The second technique is based on agar-agar, a component derived from algae, making a bioplastic with it to lock the pigments into the canvas. Using the agar-agar technique demands a lot of pre-mixing and setting up, and once everything is ready to be poured onto the canvas, everything must go very fast. The bioplastic film dries out extremely quickly and solidifies on the canvas in less than ten minutes. This forces the artist to paint in an immediate, unhesitating, and intuitive manner, which corresponds exactly to what he sought to create and the style of painting he enjoys. Since Marius had to proceed with a lot of trial and error, experimenting with all the combinations of pigments in their correctly proportioned quantities and carefully documenting them to achieve a functional paint, it felt very liberating for him to finally put his paints to artistic use. He has come to associate it with the natural processes visible in a lot of plant life, storing and saving energy year-round for its flowers to bloom a mere few days of Spring. Like flowers, the pigments he uses are ephemeral. The beauty of nature is never eternal and that is something that is central to Marius’ artistic process right now, thus the fading of these pigments over time is part of the nature of his paintings. Trying to work together with nature isn’t easy, but the more we try, the better we understand how to work with it. And the more we understand it, the more we’ll find techniques that work and allow us to preserve the natural elements necessary for regenerative painting.

For Marius, none of these paintings are supposed to hide any symbolism or higher motives. They are simply products of his imagination and express nature in its widest sense. Not nature is limited to plants, animals, or landscapes, but nature is that which is automatically created. He does not set to work with any preconceived idea of what he wants to make, he just tunes into a serene, free-flowing vibration inside his own mind and lets the materials and tools guide him, just like listening to music directs your body in dance. The paintings paint themselves. He never wonders whether what he paints is recognisable or understandable, and does not try to interpret his works. He simply lets nature do its magic and follows what it dictates. In fact, nature has guided the whole of this project, from the refusal of chemically synthesized paints and the making of his own paints to the free-flow style of painting he has used for the subject that is depicted in these paintings. Marius hopes that spectators – entirely free to see in his works what they want – will also consider them in the way he painted them, just naturally.

His main goal was to make painting a regenerative practice, not something that uses finite resources as its building block. Artistic creation is said to be one of the most important things for humans, but we aren’t investing in making this specific practice natural. The practice can be expanded to a lot of new resources and mediums that are yet to be discovered as well. With bio pigments atelier, Marius intends to take a small first step in creating more awareness around this issue and bring change to the art of our time.

Text submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank. For information about reproducing (a part of) this text, please contact the maker.

Ingredients

Beeswax, agar agar, micro-algae pigments, linen