June 12, 2006

Cirrus Monotypes

Last Friday, I started work on another monotype print project with Jean Milant, owner of Cirrus Gallery in Los Angeles. A monotype is a unique print artifact, the means of producing it are pretty wide open.

Jean's point man on this project is Francesco X. Sigueiros, a grandnephew of the great Mexican painter. He owns his own press called El Nopal and he also teaches at three schools locally. Francesco sports a laconic demeanor, he likes to joke in Spanish with his assistant Lino. Since I'm a perpetual student of Spanish/Castellano, I asked them not to translate unless I ask for it. Immediately, Francesco taught me what would be a recurring word: "ojete" (phonetically spelled), which means something like a mistake or a goof up. "Where did that come from?" I asked, looking for the entymological root. "O.J. Simpson", as in don't pull a boner like O.J. did.

To orient them to what I might be looking for in the monotypes, I talked about how one can be working away on a painting, perhaps frustrated, and then a glance at the pallette or pallette knife reveals the most marvelous manifestations of paint. I said that the objective is to be alert for kismet that occurs at the edge of the "radar screen" and find a way to get that marvelousness onto the canvas or paper, in this case. That means we started with some experimentation, goofing around in "ojete" territory.

Whilst mixing water and oil on the machine (a magnificent German mechanical beast that was created in 1956 -as old as I am- a machine I like to call "the Messerschmit"). We immediately found ourselves in the kismet zone.

Good portents.

Posted by Dennis at June 12, 2006 8:04 AM

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