The excesses of contemporary life are found in Arvilla’s Bacchic spreads of advertising imagery. Layer upon layer of photographic supermarket images proliferate across each panel in an ode to modern consumption and the competing demands for more.
Arvilla has experimented with the encaustic medium to embed these images in the wax. The artist repeatedly photocopied each image, printing over the reproductions again and again to build up thick tracks of carbon. By applying the printed sheets to areas of hot wax and then scraping away the cooled pages, Arvilla transferred the image to the wax surface, printing the wax with carbon. The images meld and overlap. Strata of wax hold their printed treasures. The monochrome images are offset by bold swathes of bright colour, lending a festive air to the feast.
The Baccanal series recalls Robert Rauschenberg’s use of photographic imagery in his paintings and through the series Arvilla pays homage to this hero of Abstract Expressionism. Like Rauschenberg, Arvilla explores the bounds of painting through a melding of fine art categories. Here encaustic painting meets printmaking to form a new mode of painting.