Carved 323.5k Moon Gold Leaf on Molten Black Encaustic Bees Wax (Photo By Gail)
Ryan Weston Shook, also known as Saber, titled I Saw It in a Dream (2019) after a quote by Abstract Expressionist painter Jasper Johns and created the piece via an encaustic wax process, its layers creating a textural surface. The flag symbolism has evolved with the artist over the years, with him questioning its meaning for broad swath of people. Saber’s paintings borrow elements, techniques and materials that he once used as a 21-year-old, rising to international fame in 1996 after painting the world’s largest graffiti piece on the bank of the Los Angeles River. Eight years after the fact, the LA County Museum of Natural History commissioned him to paint a miniature version of his piece on its riverbed diorama. The visibility of this 250-by-55-foor work (documented by satellites in space) and his years of press coverage for other creations shined a glaring public spotlight on the form. The artist’s studio work exemplifies his further exploration of movement and energy.
Photographed as part of Beyond The Streets in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
I saw this fun Bacon and Egg Flag proudly displayed in the booth for Roni Sue Chocolates at the Great Big Bacon Picnic this past weekend. I think it’s from one of the southwestern states, but I forget which one. If anyone knows please leave it in the comments!
“I decided to make flags for each game of the World Cup I watched this Summer. I wanted to spread my support for different countries and feel more like a global citizen, without any political or geographical ties. That’s the greatest gift football and other sports can offer, they can genuinely bring disparate people together for play.
I re-imagined flags of different countries, adding a playful reference to that country within the design of the flag. America has one of the best flag designs there is, I really love it, and it was a lot of fun to work on. The first edition of this flag was with a burger and fries but the fries didn’t quite look right in red, so I turned them into bacon. Everyone seems to love bacon.” – Jon Burgerman
“One night I dreamed that I painted a large American flag,” Johns has said of this work, “and the next morning I got up and I went out and bought the materials to begin it.” Those materials included three canvases that he mounted on plywood, strips of newspaper, and encaustic paint—a mixture of pigment and molten wax that has formed a surface of lumps and smears.
The newspaper scraps visible beneath the stripes and forty-eight stars lend this icon historical specificity. The American flag is something “the mind already knows,” Johns has said, but its execution complicates the representation and invites close inspection. A critic of the time encapsulated this painting’s ambivalence, asking, “Is this a flag or a painting?”
Jasper Johns was born May 15th, 1930 and currently lives in Sharon, Connecticut. Flag is part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.