Detail from the Cockatoo is Moving Under You, Ink and graphite on hand cut paper
Baba Yaga Misquotes the Face to Steeleye Span, Hand Cut Paper
Sator Square, ink and graphite on hand-cut paper mounted on plexiglass, 12 x 12 inches
Every once in a while, an artist pops up on my screen via my artistaday.com component of iGoogle that makes me stop to look. I encountered Philadelphia based Hunter Stabler in this way yesterday, and I’ve since looked stared and wondered at his work. If you take a look at his portfolio site, the most striking thing (well for me since I’m taking a color workshop class) is that there’s no COLOR! He uses neutral colored papers to create his artwork, which are intricately detailed and cut to form spiritually significant objects and symbols.
His Sator Square, above, was in an exhibition recently at artist-run and curated Tiger Strikes Asteroid in Philadelphia. I wasn’t sure what a Sator square was so I looked it up – this is what Wikipedia said: “The Sator Square is a word square containing a Latin palindrome featuring the words SATOR AREPO TENET OPERA ROTAS written in a square so that they may be read top-to-bottom, bottom-to-top, left-to-right, and right-to-left. The earliest known appearance of the square was found in the ruins of Pompeii which was buried in the ash of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD.”
It’s a magic square! It has spiritual significance because it was thought to have magic powers to ward off evil. The closest translation is ‘the farmer Arepo has works wheels’, which isn’t a great sentence but it’s amazing that it can be read identically forwards, backwards, up and down.
Side note: also at this exhibition was the work of Adam Parker Smith, who showed a stunning collage of diamonds. He successfully created the multiple facets with triangular bits of paper. This reminded me of a classmates work from last week!