Shales (1994–95)

The Shales were made with "fire-wax” (Rauschenberg’s terminology for encaustic), using a transfer technique developed by Donald Saff of Saff Tech Arts, Oxford, Maryland. A layer of white pigmented wax was first applied to the entire surface of the canvas, to which Rauschenberg then transferred his photographic images utilizing additional layers of wax. The clarity and depth of the medium creates a trompe l’œil effect, giving the appearance that objects are suspended in the layers of wax.