"I AM A BURNT MAN": Fire is death and the abyss. Fire has always been with me. My message is tragic. I show crime. I bring the documents, I collect them and I add more, I want to give my revolt the most dramatic and violent face. I want my work to be a burning reflex ”.
At the end of the 1980s, after traveling in Mato Grosso and in the Amazon, Frans Krajcberg began to work with “burnt wood”, recovered from deforestation sites. His “Revolts” are assemblages made from natural elements: trunks, lianas, roots… collected in forests devastated by fires, later transformed with a blowtorch. The fire hardens the wood and gives it a certain resistance. The work is then enhanced with black or red, colors taken from vegetable charcoal, stones or natural pigments, which protect, heal and camouflage like war paints - but also like cataplasm protection rituals.
Set up on natural bases, crossed by light, his “burnt woods”, steles or totems, resound like tragic alarm sirens. Frans Krajcberg affirms that death is not an end. He challenges death with his sculptures. The purified, transformed, magnified elements are reborn.
His “burned barks” echoes His “burned wood”. Between painting and epidermal shreds, their tragic economy is opposed to the theatricality of the “conjuntos”.
Frans Krajcberg sets up in front of his own house an enormous sculpture of eleven meters high, named “Memory of Destruction”: emptied of their substance, two dead tree trunks, dried up and burnt, are embedded one in the other and raised to the sky. Their dramatic silhouette speaks of the mourning of plants, but also of the human body, reminiscence and refusal of forgetting the past. Like African ancestors, buried in the heart of homes to protect the living of their tribe, this sculpture acts as a spiritual guardian of the artist’s private space.