Lucas Samaras has painted with gold and silver since the late 50s. The metallic found in the radiators around his studio and the metal paint tubes he was using at the time. More, gold imitates value. Known as his Wound paintings, they conjure trauma and pain. They are akin to contemporary icon paintings and Fontana’s slashes.
The 22 karat gold jewelry is intentionally heavy, in the tradition of ancient ritualistic jewelry. Resisting gold’s long, serious "gold standard" history, Samaras chose a more playful, modest material from which to cast- chicken and hardware wire. A trademark, as are his rainbow yarn and tiny beads (Samaras has collected beaded necklaces for decades), Samaras has used the chicken wire for chairs and boxes since the 70s. The perfect material to manipulate and cut, the wire was also easily filled in with thick paint before casting. Each gold piece is unique, and there are approximately 60 pieces in his gold collection.