Hot and Touchy

By heating wax and pigment, Anita Giteck Drujon makes art you can grip

Drujon acknowledges the textures of these raw ingredients have long fascinated her. "I've always just loved materials," she says, pointedly emphasizing the word, "their textural qualities." Again there's a telling comment in her artist's statement: "The materials I use (encaustic and collage) are extraordinary for me because they are so visceral and physical -- like pulling taffy. Tearing paper, pouring and moving the molten wax colors across a ground and the ritual of the layering, the process is so physical...."

Again and again Drujon urges me to run my fingers over the surfaces of her paintings, and indeed, they are irresistibly seductive. Here and there the wax rises in ridges that suggest the details of a topographical map. A stretch of silky smooth wax gives way to a patch of coarse, dusty metallic paint. The crinkled corner of a piece of paper juts out of the wax, begging to be touched.

When I remind her that, with rare exceptions, such tactile interaction with paintings goes dramatically against how we're conditioned to behave around art, Drujon pauses for a moment. Perhaps she should post an invitation to touch her paintings when they're displayed in public.

Encaustic is the medium of choice for "material" girl Anita Giteck Drujon
Encaustic is the medium of choice for "material" girl Anita Giteck Drujon


The artist's works can be seen only by appointment at her studio in Pompano Beach; call 954-729-4372 or 954-255-9977

For the moment, however, aside from the occasional group exhibition that includes Drujon, the only public venues for viewing a selection of her works are two far-flung galleries: Ward-Nasse in New York's SoHo neighborhood and Hayes Macmillan in Boone, North Carolina. Maybe the enterprising director of some South Florida venue will remedy this situation. In the meantime Drujon welcomes visitors by appointment into her studio, where she intends to spend more and more time exploring the possibilities of encaustic.

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