The Butterfly Box Project with James Verbicky
April 28, 2014
To call James Verbicky’s “media paintings” attention grabbing and magnetic is an understatement. So much so that the Canadian mixed-media artist earned an “Extraordinary Ability” green card—a rare currency bestowed by the United States government in recognition of his representation in U.S. galleries and museums, charity involvement, and heaps of critical praise. Just two of the entries on the artist’s impressive CV: selection into Paris’ annual Société Nationale des Beaux Arts juried exhibition at the Louvre and a commissioned work created on a Frank Gehry sphere originally housed in the Hollywood Bowl.
Verbicky, now based in Southern California, lent his extraordinary talent to this issue’s cover art, Papillion en Fleur 1, in mixed media and resin. Unusual symbols, cubes of vivid color, and vintage branding materials—advertising posters, magazine covers, found graphics—align in horizontal planes, forming a dimensional piece that is sculptural in effect. “The radiating composition conjures a vision of a bursting flower,” says Verbicky, “a theme that unites perfectly with the butterfly—a herald of spring.” Take in more of the artist’s evocative storytelling on the book’s back cover, where symbols and words such as “chic,” “la mode,” and “original” punctuate Verbicky’s collage. Seems he knows a thing about fashion and what NM stands for, too.