* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.
Steven Spazuk received a BFA from Université Laval, Quebec, in 1983. He has since become an experienced designer of sets, advertising, and other graphics. But apart from these conventional mediums, he is also a soot artist, who paints and draws with fire.
Soot painting is a technique whose first practitioners were cave dwellers, he says. By a mix of accident and intent, Spazuk has developed his own method method of creating elusive and haunting portraits entirely from the residue of smoke and fire.
His subjects, human body parts, are sometimes only suggested and other times depicted very literally. He will sometimes leave the remains of insects or rain in his work, etching upon them with minuscule brushes.
Spazuk has designed over twenty stamps for Canada Post.
"I've been told that the process is often more important that the product. This is especially true with Steven Spazuk's work. At first glance, his work is impressive in it's own right. It's well rendered. It's size is enormous. You notice it's made of cards assembled on a wall, that can be broken down and placed into a box. Then you realize that each cards has been purposely burnt with a candle and then scratched out to create the images. There is something very primal in Mr. Spazuk's talent to create such high caliber pieces with such crude tools."