Materials used in "Art Giants in Detroit" artworks.The
lasting art produced by every culture is expressive of that culture not
only by its content and form, but also by the technology used. It
is proper that art of our time uses the technology of this
period. My training as an artist was in traditional materials and
processes. It included two years at The Detroit Institute of
Arts. There I witnessed the unavoidable effects of time on all
works of art. Impressed by the inevitable deterioration of all
materials, I have adopted a cautious attitude toward materials I
use in my artworks. I feel a deep responsibility to the future of
my work especially when contemplating using non-traditional materials
or processes. I keep no "secrets". I give the owner
complete technical documentation on materials and construction and
information on any maintenance issues. Furthermore, I offered buy the
piece back for the amount I received at its sale should a collector
feel that the materials are defective.
The "Art Giants in
Detroit" artworks employ modern materials. The substrate of these
works is a four feet square slab of two inch thick extruded
styrene. urethane foam is applied to the face and sides of the
slab to create a lumpy surface and allowed to cure. Because the
surface of urethane foam is susceptible to degradation from long term
exposure to ultra-violet light (see below), the entire object is
then coated with several layers of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide
suspended in laminating non-blush epoxy. This concludes the
initial preparation. The portrait is hand painted utilizing the
ancient "cartoon" method from a photo taken by myself or the
subject. Other pigments are added to additional epoxy layers to
create the image.
My first work using this technique has hung on
my wall since 2001 with no perceptable change. Below
is a collection of more or less relevant technical literature.
Jim Pallas. April 3, 2012. Applegate, Michigan
|Cured but uncoated urethane foam on extruded styrene foam substrate.|
Illustration: "Poor Jacqueline" (48"x38"x4")
Styrene Foam: ":...foam (XPS) consists of closed cells,
...Extruded polystyrene material is also used in crafts and model
building, in particular architectural models. Discarded
polystyrene does not biodegrade for hundreds of years and is resistant
^ 14. Bandyopadhyay, Abhijit; Chandra Basak, G.
(2007). "Studies on photocatalytic degradation of polystyrene".
Materials Science and Technology 23 (3): 307–317.
In an Off-the-record
conversation with me on March 2, 2012, an Owens-Corning
technician said, after qualifying that Owens-Corning does no testing of
very long term (hundreds of years) product behavior in a epoxy sealed
state or any kind of state, he opined that the 2" styrofoam panel
"would remain dimensionally stable indefinitely."
Foam: Effects of visible light.:
"Polyurethanes...contain chromophores which interact with light.
When PU foam...is exposed to visible light it discolors, turning from
off-white to yellow to reddish brown. It has been generally accepted
that apart from yellowing, visible light has little effect on foam
27.Discoloration of polyurethane foam".
Foamex Information sheet. Archived from the original on 2010-09-26.
28 Valentine, C; Craig, T.A.; Hager, S.L
(1993). "Inhibition of the Discoloration of Polyurethane Foam Caused by
Ultraviolet Light". J. Cellular Plastics 29 (6): 569–590.
" It has been reported that
exposure to visible light can affect the variability of some physical
property test results. ... samples should be protected from light
"Higher-energy UV radiation promotes chemical reactions in foam, some of which are detrimental to the foam structure.
G. Ron; Bob Dawe, Jim McEvoy, Roy Pask, Marcela Rusan de Priamus, Carol
Wright (2007). "The Effect of Visible Light on the Variability of
Flexible Foam Compression Sets". Orlando, Florida: Center for the
Laminating Epoxy: Resin Chemical
Formula: BISPHENOL-A POLYGLYCIDYL. Catalyst Chemical Formula:
CYCLOHEXYLAMINE. Cured epoxy is extremely stable chemically
and dimensionally over long periods. Extended exposure to the
ultra-violet (UV) of direct sunlight may cause some yellowing or
chalking of clear non-pigmented epoxy. Addition of UV
blockers ( e.q. titanium or zinc oxides and others) ameliorates this
HEALTH AND SAFETY DATA
Like oil paint on canvas, extruded styrene foam, urethane foam, and epoxy are combustible. Avoid contact with open flame.
Extruded styrene foam:
slab of two inch thick extruded polystyrene is FOAMULARŪ 150 Extruded
Polystyrene Insulation Extruded polystyrene closed cell foam, ASTM C578
Type X, 15 psi minimum
• FOAMULARŪ XPS insulation is made with a zero ozone depletion formula.
Certified to meet indoor air quality standards under the stringent
GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certifi cation ProgramSM, and the
GREENGUARD Children & Schools Certification ProgramSM
Fully reacted polyurethane polymer is chemically inert."
23Dernehl CU. (1966). Health Hazards Associated with Polyurethane. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
measured ecotoxicity is that of the hydrolyzed product, generally under
conditions maximizing production of soluble species. Material is
practically non-toxic to aquatic organisms.
Material Safety Data Sheet available from The Dow Chemical Company, Product Name: GREAT STUFF PRO(TM) Gaps & Cracks 24oz
Epoxy is often used to line the interiors of metal food cans. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epoxy#Health_risks
hardened epoxy products are practically non-toxic unless they are cut,
sanded, or burned.....Epoxy products are used for paints and other
surface coatings, molded and reinforced plastics, electronic component
potting resins, and adhesives ranging from spray foams to dental
cement. Dept. of Health Services, California.
Questions or comments