Maestro Zalce has been creating acrylics, watercolors, statues, murals, and
almost every other form of art throughout most of his 91 years, but only in the 90’s did
he began working with techniques of batik. Although the quality of art in
batik is equal to his acrylics and watercolors, batik requires more time
to produce because, in addition to creating the art over cloth, he has to put on and take
off wax whenever he wishes to use another color. When a work is almost finished,
something can go wrong during the last application of wax that can ruin the entire
artwork. Also, when painting with acrilic or oil, the artist can cover errors; while
with batik, the error cannot be corrected.
No other artist of Zalce's magnitude produces art with batik, mostly because it is tedious, slow, and technically difficult to do. Most artists prefer to produce larger quantities of art more quickly due to economic interests. Zalce says, "Art produced painstakingly and slowly will be forgotten slowly, while artwork quickly produced will more likely be quickly forgotten."
Zalce’s work with batik is well represented in a book published by the Politecnico University and the Government of Michoacan, and in Zalce Total, published by the National Institute of Fine Art, as well as in other publications. It appears that Zalce’s works in batik may well be as rare, sought after, and appreciated in the future as his works in acrylic, oil, or watercolor are now.
Regarding the process of producing fine art with batik, Zalce says:
"This is the process: You take cloth and make your sketch with charcoal because pencil is difficult to remove from cloth. The cloth can be cotton, linen, or silk.
"You have to cover some colors with wax in order to paint with other colors so as not to have a mixing of colors. If you have a strong red and a light red and don’t want the two to run together, you have to put wax over one color prior to painting the other color. After that color has been painted and allowed to dry, you then can take off the wax and prepare to cover another section with wax for the next color. The process of applying wax, painting, letting the paint dry, and removing the wax one time after another is time consuming.
"After everything is finished, you can apply another coat of wax over the entire work, then pinch and wrinkle the cloth prior to applying more color to the entire work. When the paint goes into the somewhat broken wax that this pinching causes, the marble-like texture is obtained that is so special to batik."
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