Relics and Reliquaries

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Relics and Reliquaries

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The book chronicles Vallance's  "Relic Project"  in which he incorporated into his art, a wide range of artifacts that he collected since an early age and later while travelling around the world visiting the sacred sites of varied religions. The "Relics and Reliquaries" includes over 130 colorplates and extensive commentary by Vallance himself. 

Influenced by the California  assemblage tradition exemplified in notable artists such as Betye Saar and Ed Kienholz and informed by Chris Burden's Crucifixion on a volkswagen performance (Burden presented the spikes used to nail him to the car in plexiglass cases), Vallance crafted elaborate reliquaries from found objects, laquered and guilded them and then housed the detris of his collection in absurd and humorous ways.

In 2010, Eleanor Hartney wrote in Art in America that:

 "Beneath the humor here was an underlying air of pathos, as objects with no intrinsic value or interest were redeemed by our attention. Vallance, who has worked before at the nexus of religion and popular culture, reminds us that the great spiritual traditions award a special place to the lost, the overlooked and the almost forgotten."