In Plasma Drawings, Dan Raralio steps out of his comfort zone and uses a plasma cutter both as a cutting and a drawing tool. Raralio admits it is not usually the practical thing to do, but he acknowledges its artistic potential to create something worth doing.
As a painter and a sculptor, Raralio loves to collect ideas and objects he can use as art materials. Those objects, he recalls, become part of the decision-making process on what to pursue next as he discovers new areas to explore. Having worked with stainless steel before, Raralio uses such experience in Plasma Drawings. This time, though, he is not aiming for the perfect shapes and curves, but he is trying to go for something rougher, perhaps more natural as a consequence of handling sensitive tools and materials that require quick yet creative thinking.
In “Frog Test,” he explores the duality of the reference from the story of The Frog Prince and that of the history of pregnancy tests. Raralio ultimately wants his works to be self-explanatory, allowing the viewer to see it for what it is, rather than forcing them to speculate on what he has produced. In “Palace Marionette,” he uses figurative models to demonstrate the degree of control and freedom they have in relation to other objects around them. In “Off-key Player,” he literally turns to using dismantled piano keys.
Raralio believes each piece is different, and he must adjust continually to the factors surrounding his work, including being open to alternative approaches when time and resources run short. In the end, it is all about making sure each object he uses in the composition performs its function, and nothing is wasted.