The Black Paintings series of pastel-on-sandpaper paintings grew directly from the earlier Domestic Threats. Both series use cultural objects as surrogates for human beings acting in mysterious, highly-charged narratives. In the Black Paintings the figures (actors) now take central stage. All background details, furniture, rugs, etc. are eliminated and are replaced by intense dark black pastel.
The Domestic Threats series of pastel-on-sandpaper paintings uses Mexican folk art—masks, carved wooden animals, papier mâché figures, and toys—in a lively blend of reality and fantasy. On trips to central Mexico I spend much of my time in the local mask shops, markets, and bazaars searching for the figures that will later populate my paintings. barbararachko.com