Todd Gavin’s beautiful, innovative, Carbon Frescoes draw upon the classical forms of fresco and relief sculpture, and reformulate them into a new medium of artistic expression.
Carbon, as the foundation of organic life, is symbolically and literally portrayed in these works. Each fresco is a composition of oil, ash, and coal combined within and upon cement. The aggregates of earth and carbon are infused in the cement, making a rigid illustrative form that is simultaneously sculptural and graphical. The inspiration and metaphor of carbon, as life, and the cement and dry aggregates as the Earth, combine physically, materially, and metaphorically in the subjective meaning of the form. Throughout his Carbon Fresco series, Gavin communicates the fundamental significance and paradoxes of carbon's role in the formation and perpetuation of life. Each piece is based on a thematic property associated with carbon, and draws out an affiliation to the experience of being. The varied, yet relatable, compositions portray the physical aesthetics of life, in material and form, and convey an organic atmosphere that both portray and invoke emotion. Through the use of elemental carbon and earth, Todd Gavin has realized a wholly unique aesthetic and medium of communication, by innovatively applying the beautiful harmonies in the physical language of nature to define the emotional phenomenon of being.