Buzz Masters – USA

What do we hold onto and what do we leave out in order to make our story? Buzz uses symbols to express his interest in narrative. With a debt to the history of fresco painting, and that visual form of storytelling, he draws tangled rope and other beach flotsam to symbolize sorting memory, or ladders and floats as time cessation, or simple New England architecture becomes a metaphor of the changing undercurrent of relationships. He is obsessed with the malleable nature of memory; water as a metaphor for holding memory has became part of his iconography. Its ability to leave imprints, transport, buoy objects, and transform surroundings seemed apt.

He uses wooden panels covered with a recipe of clay and crushed shells mixed with a binder that when ground down and sanded creates a smooth, hard, but porous surface that reacts with paint having a similar effect as a fresco. Recently, he has also been working on paper, using mixed media collage. He appreciates paper’s flexibility as he can work it with heavy layering to make a complex surface. The paper’s versatility allows him to fold, distress, draw, and gild. The color and surface of these pieces often refer to influences of early Italian work, but the symbols narrate current stories.