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Up In Smoke: The Art of Angelo Monserat
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When it comes to art, I’m usually all about what it looks like first—a very visceral reaction. However, as I’ve started to make more art myself, I’ve become more and more interested in the process, something I’ve always been fascinated by in the design world.

I met art broker and advisor John Wolf recently who introduced me to Angelo Monserat’s work. Since I’m fan of design pieces that use heat, flame and smoke to create (for example, Hilla Shamia’s molten aluminum), I instantly loved the idea behind Angelo’s work: using the flames of birthday candles as a paintbrush.

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Austerity Policies 8

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Austerity Policies 5

Each candle’s flame is present in the pieces, making them all seem like a single moment in time—a burning fire captured on paper. They’re haunting and rich. I particularly enjoy his process because of the time and repetition that goes into each work, and I personally spend some time doing repetitive works—they’re good for both meditation and healing of the soul.

Angelo says:

I use technique that is not common to explore my uncommon background. As a child I witnessed the migratory work flow of sub cultures in ghettos of ignored populations. Even in the chaos and constant flux of the economic situation came beauty and culture. I try to capture this in my work. Smoke is synonymous with destruction, but I use it as creation. I let the flame dance with the paper. This is a very illusive medium that has a very serious mind of its own. Throughout mishaps along the way, comes a beautiful yet fragile piece of art.

The works are so fragile that one needs to take extreme care in handling and framing. Angelo explains, “a mere kiss of a shirt sleeve can smudge and ruin the piece.”

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Austerity Policies 7

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Austerity Policies 13

Photos by Gintare Bandinskaite, courtesy of John Wolf and Angelo Monserat. For inquiries, please contact John Wolf Fine Art.

Jaime Derringer, Founder + Executive Editor of Design Milk, is a Jersey girl living in SoCal. She dreams about funky, artistic jewelry + having enough free time to enjoy some of her favorite things—running, reading, making music, and drawing.