Matthew Stromberg uses a wide variety of powerful and volatile substances, including rocket fuel, explosives, gunpowder, propellants and bullets, aka energetic materials, in order to create art rather than destroy. The Savannah College of Art and Design professor utilizes these forceful methods to apply his mark to wood, metal and paper. The results are quite visceral and evocative of the violent patterns of nature-- images seared and impressed in high-energy events. They kick ass, too.
Some might draw comparisons to the work of Cai Guo-Qiang and others, but few, maybe none use such a wide variety of materials and processes. I'm partial to the machine gun work.
Stromberg first began experimenting with energetic materials last year. It’s not something for the faint of heart. “I would say it’s very dangerous,” Stromberg says....
At times, Stromberg must get permission from the U.S. Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to do a project. “No hazardous waste can be associated with my work,” he says....
Stromberg plans to keep doing even more training and research. “I’ll be stepping up the magnitude of the explosives,” he says. “There are so many different types of energetic materials. There is always something else to research and try.”
Here he is at work with an M11/9 submachine gun:
Here he is drawing with solid rocket fuel:
and drawing with some highly explosive ANFO (Ammonium Nitrate/Fuel Oil) With this example you get a small taste of what could go wrong:
mstrombe on YouTube
you can find more images here