Canadian artist Tony Scherman’s work is notable for his use of the ancient and meticulous technique of encaustic – a practice combining wax and pigment. Tony’s use of the encaustic is very special in his style and work, and the technique invites people to engage with the work in a different way than oil paint.
The encaustic method creates lush, textured, and dramatic surfaces on the paintings. Because the wax dries and hardens on the surface quickly, the texture is immediate versus the slow build-up of impasto with oil paint. The immediacy of texture in combination with the long history of wax as an artistic medium helps to inform Tony’s practice.
Encaustic is a deconstruction of painting in itself. In the act of building, the artist’s interpretation of the marks comes into play.
Tony calls his paintings “aggregations of mistakes”. With oil paint, an artist can remove things and move them around, but encaustic dries immediately. The paintings Tony makes bare every mark that has come before it, layered in ways that cover or reveal areas of “mistake”.
For Tony, the enjoyment in painting comes from nearing the end of a work and realizing he cannot change it any further.
Each brushstroke contributes to the cohesive image, but observed up-close, they are all abstract marks, devoid of meaning. Titling a work and seeing the completed image from afar helps to build meaning in the piece. While all of Tony’s works are representative, they also contain unique symbolism and significance.
Tony Scherman has exhibited extensively in Canada, the United States, and Europe. He has been featured in The New York Times, Art in America, Art Papers, and American Art Collector. His paintings are held in various public, private and corporate collections.