Detonographer – Evelyn Rosenberg

“Every act of creation is first an act of destruction” – Pablo Picasso

Albuquerque-based artist Evenlyn Rosenberg works within the non-traditional medium of powerful explosives. She has been credited with creating the art of “detonography”, or sculpting metal using explosives.

The process works with multiple layers of material starting with a bed of sand, the artwork mold, metal of choice, texture, a rubber mat to disperse the blast then the C1 explosives. The entire process is similar to printmaking with the explosives acting as the stamping press. The explosives move at an estimated speed of 270,000 feet per second.

Materials Rosenberg uses for her project include copper, brass, stainless steel and aluminum. Her work has been featured in places like the Bernalillo County Courthouse, the North Valley Library, and the Albuquerque International Sunport. Her latest project is being developed for the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport in South Carolina.

Rosenberg’s particular style of art isn’t cheap to create. With each blast running into the thousands of dollars, experimentation is quite limited. However, that doesn’t stop her from continually pushing the envelope of her craft.

“If you start repeating yourself, and you start doing the same thing over and over again, because it’s been successful and then you say… oh, well, I’ll do that again, it’s hard to keep your interest. Then it just becomes a job.” Rosenberg says.

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