A solo show of new works by artist Nick Theobald is currently on view at Richard Taittinger Gallery in New York, entitled WITH HONEY FROM THE ROCK. The artist uses natural materials to create surprising works—dripped beeswax is used to make paintings, and discarded canvases is used to create sculptures. We spoke with the artist about his process and about how he thinks art will replace religion.
WHITEWALL: WITH HONEY FROM THE ROCK refers to a passage in The Old Testament, about God’s final gift to the faithful. Was this a starting point for you with this series?
NICK THEOBALD: It actually was the end point and summed it up. The work is about devotion and submission to a purpose and the freedom that purpose delivers. The title of the show is from a Psalm that I learned as a child at summer camp… so I suppose it is the starting point too; it’s come full circle.
WW: When did you start working with unaltered beeswax? Why was this a material you wanted to work with?
NT: My first explorations with beeswax began four years ago. I saw the tonal variety in beeswax and I started to explore ways of “painting” using natural materials. I am concerned with the idea of karmic footprints in regard to materials. To make 1 pound of beeswax it takes roughly 6000 bees, in some of my paintings there are over 100 pounds of wax. There is a lot of energy resonating from beeswax and I think that is something you feel in the work. The sense of 600,000 bees… and me.