Smoke, No Mirrors: the Wonderful Work of Oliver Kosta Thefaine
When I was a child I was wildly into Egyptology, and read accounts of early archeology in Egypt breathlessly, weeping over the atrocities committed by Belzoni and reading a facsimile of his Narrative of the Operations and Recent Discoveries within the Pyramids, Temples, Tombs and Excavations in Egypt and Nubia like a fiend.
My indignation at his violent excavation techniques and treasure-hunting ways was fed by jealousy that I couldn't unwrap mummies myself. But one practice that made me livid was the signing of the ceilings of tombs and temple by European tourists with the smoke from torches. In retrospect, it's probably a lot easier to clean soot that deal with a name gouged into stone.
But anyway. A few months ago I saw these on Yatzer:
They're the work of artist Oliver Kosta Thefaine, and I adore them. It never occurred to me that this same torch-writing technique could be used to such stunning effect:
Here he riffs off some exiting Victorian plasterwork:
I would love to have Mr. Kosta Thefaine over for dinner and arm him with some smoky candles to do his thing throughout my house, and he is more than welcome to violate my future tomb whenever he likes.