The past few weeks have been dedicated to creating a triptych for a hotel here in Dubai. The client had requested to draw inspiration from previous works and layout. I was a little nervous because we were talking about blowing up the artworks by doubling the size and working with gold on those sizes is usually pretty expensive and challenging. One of the concerns I had was to maintain depth in the gold areas of the canvas because it would end up looking super flat if 12sqft of the canvas was in plain gold. Such a large area had to have some texture and movement and not just the shine. I sent across 2 overall sketches to the client before they decided to proceed with a particular option. Here's the option they decided to move forward with.
The approach was to create two corresponding panels on either side of the triptych and then a kind of 'disruptor' in the center which would force the viewer's gaze to shift upwards and then downwards again. I had 3 canvases measuring 3x6ft each so the total size of the triptych would be 9ftx6ft (!!) I have to say, it was an extremely exciting commission.
I decided to spend the first day spray painting the canvas and letting it dry. Had to do it outdoors in my balcony and with the recent weather in Dubai, it was really rough with the wind, the rain and all the dust. Something that should've taken me a couple of hours and under 4 cans of premium chrome spray paint ended up taking almost double (extremely expensive for cost and time).
The application of the paint wasn't time consuming at all since I had my primary sketches for each panel. It did get a little tight in my studio so maneuverability was tough and getting around the sides of the canvases was difficult. The greatest challenge, however was 'finishing' the piece. The abundant gold was extremely fragile and it needed to be sealed and protected because the slightest contact could create marks and scratches. I decided to move forward with a liquid varnish and applied it just as I have applied it so many times before. The reaction was insane. It was almost like the gold was tarnishing when it came into contact with the varnish. Once it dried, I had to actually re-spray paint the entire panel (thank god I only varnished one canvas and not all 3). The next day, I tried a different type of a varnish which worked so well. Everything was packed and delivered to Creative Minds for pick up a day before the deadline and I'm absolutely thrilled by the end result. Here they are!