Normally, we get a little grossed out by work that uses blood (although we admire the chutzpah of the artist) – Andres Serrano and Gina Pane come to mind, but their work was more about self-mutilation and shock value. Eagles’ pieces instead reference transformation and history (think tree rings) or as he puts it, “moments frozen in time.” Because the work is so mesmerizingly beautiful, it is hard to believe that it was banned from New Jersey’s annual “Art at Overlook” for the simple fact that it contains blood (not the artist’s, it was obtained from a slaughterhouse).
Eagles is also a master of craftsmanship, managing to create a flawless series that has depth, rich texture and brilliant color from natural materials that can be difficult to work with. To create a darker red in some pieces, he left the layers of blood in the sun to oxidize and change the hue. The result is a solid body of work that is practically perfect and manages to elude any shock value that comes with using the medium, and instead conveys the intangible connection between body and spirit.
Image: Jordan Eagles, "Unity," mixed mediaSFist Shelley, contributing