Asser Saint Val's oeuvre is fuelled by dedicated research into the chemical and sociological properties of Melanin, a biological compound found in the plant, animal, and protista kingdoms that among other things colors human skin, hair and eyes.
Having conducted encyclopedic studies of what he refers to as 'the phenomenon of Melanin' and its manifestation in the world the artist explores the way in which science has previously been used to justify false perceptions concerning people of color. His findings, which draw from research into humans of all races, take the form of paintings often titled after scientists who have worked closely within his area of interest.
The most common form of biological melanin is eumelanin, a polymer which in its pure form is ostensibly nothing more than a dark liquid; its associations however carry a vibrant wealth of cultural information that are now presented through Saint Val's work. Anchored by the presence of legs his various embodiments melanin's history - part figurative, part something you might see under a microscope - consist of an evocative mixture of media such as acrylic paint, coffee, shoe polish, flour, and food coloring.
Cumulative and objective, Asser Saint Val's work serves to document the importance of Melanin with a specific and conscientious artistic voice. Through paintings that consist of both eclectic symbolism and figurative abstraction, the physiological and sociological significances of this important human constituent are explored.