Blood Simple

Eagles pulls a sketch from his pocket. Using a paintbrush and a stack of saliva-dampened paper towels, he places broad strokes of blood across the resinated surface of a huge piece of Plexiglas. This will be the first of 20 layers of blood and resin, with a drying time of hours or days between each layer. He pours blood out onto another sheet of Plexi and coerces it by slanting the plane. The result—a virulent splash across a stark white background— is thrilling enough to cause Eagles to squeal and bite his wrist.

"I could use a cigarette after that," he says. But Eagles doesn't smoke; instead, he works on this one shape for another hour, slowly adding beads of blood to pools already threatening to break through their surface tension. It is punctilious work but Eagles is on fire.

To cool down, he takes me to his childhood room. Once a gallery for baseball cards, this room is now a way station for the season's latest blood work. I sit on the floor while Eagles hangs a painting on the wall and clips in a few pin lights. Brilliant beams of copper, bronze, pink, and gold explode from a small hole in the center of the Plexiglas canvas.

Jordan Eagle working on one of his pieces
photo: Chad McCabe
Jordan Eagle working on one of his pieces

"Now watch," Eagles says as he dims the lights until they are nearly extinguished. The piece continues to glow, as if fueled by its own energy source, as if the blood were alive.

"See, here, light is the hero."

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