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The Refined Crude series began while working at an artist residency in Houston and thinking about its oil industry. These relatively small shadowbox based sculptures are visual meditations on the cultural history of that black gold. Using only the most luxe of materials—including cast lead crystal, mahogany, gold, and even actual crude oil sealed in plexiglas—these works present a poetic exploration of this ultimate commodity, which is the lifeblood of both the Houston and the world economy. Individual pieces in the series are titled with the closing price of a barrel of “West Texas light, sweet crude” on the day each was completed.
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