Die Prügelstrafe

Study No. 3 (Die Prügelstrafe), acrylic on scored masonite, Chris Rusak 2010 Study No. 7 (Die Prügelstrafe) angular view, graphite and acrylic on scored masonite, artist's frame, Chris Rusak 2010 Study No. 5 (Die Prügelstrafe), graphite and acrylic on scored masonite, Chris Rusak 2010

Die Prügelstrafe is a series of studies utilizing a knife for the act of mark-making.

As a tool whose implementation leaves only a trace of texture as its pigment, it transfigures the masonite ground into composition. In tandem with graphite, the texture-marks provide a specific contrast to the reflectivity of the carbon line. They cast light in discrete directions proportionate to the pressure applied as each mark was created. Implemented alone, the recorded pressures create the overall surface texture, removing all chromatic elements aside from the natural pigmentation of the ground.

In revealing the layers behind the ground’s surface, an intimacy the viewer is often kept from becomes the key figure of the composition. This nudity opens up the supporting structure of the work and provides prominence to the whole object. Gradual shifts of the viewers’ position hide and reveal these elements, in as much as an artist may keep a persona with the public to hide pandemonium inside their studio.