From large-scale gunpowder drawings to public spectacle explosives, it seems a trail of black dust follows “explosives artist” Cai Guo-Qiang
everywhere he goes. Trace it back and you’ll find three decades filled with fire, from Cai’s first gunpowder drawings in 1986 to the moment his footprint-shaped fireworks lit the sky at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. “Using gunpowder as a medium brings me closer to nature and even the universe,” Cai told Artsy in a film documenting the gunpowder drawings he made for MOCA Los Angeles in April, 2012. Learn more about his process in our film at right (you’ll see Cai sprinkle explosives across a giant sheet of paper, then ignite) and explore “Da Vincis do Povo
” on Artsy to see gunpowder drawings from Cai’s current exhibition in Brazil, evoking samba dancers, carnivals, and Brazilian birds in his signature incinerations.
Cai Guo-Qiang’s “Peasant Da Vincis (Da Vincis do Povo)” is on view in Rio De Janeiro at Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil and Museu Nacional dos Correios through September 23, 2013.