Letters and numbers run in furrowed tracts through the wax of Arvilla’s After JJ series as he pays tribute to artist Jasper Johns. A titan of American Abstract Expressionism, Johns made innovative use of encaustic wax painting, and letters and numbers abstracted from any meaning formed a recurring motif in his works.
Here in Arvilla’s series, the defined shapes of these typographies contrast the expressive swathes of coloured wax below. Devoid of their usual function as communicators, the letters and numbers build decorative patterns as ornamental forms. Through these blank signifiers, Arvilla plays with the concepts of form and symbol in art to create a visual dialogue with Johns’ own work.