April 22, 2008

George Page

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George Page called earlier in the year asking if I was interested in making another print project, and I said sure. George is supercool, a master printer for Sam Francis at the famed Litho Shop in Santa Monica, he now has a home and studio in two separate structures out in that part of the California desert where David Hockney snapped his Pearl Blossom Highway.

He dropped off eight mylars and suggested that I paint on them as I would on any canvas, in the colors I would like to see in the print. I was swamped with the painting for the recent show, and it was weird making marks on the mylar where one couldn't see a final composite result for a stretch of time to come. Distended causal chains of daub and effect. Make a mark and wait two months to see what it looks like. After a while I was barely hanging in there, holding onto some abstraction of an expectation of what's to come as I clumsily touched paint to the unfamiliar mylar surfaces.

So today he had under his arm, a role of fourteen initial proofs on cheap paper so we can see what happened when he ran the burned plates and plied them into variations. Leave them on the wall for a while and see what you think.

A ver...

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Skulls. I see skulls via the camera, more so than en vivo. Facing. Face to face, they tend to look to me like clowns, a white hat on a white painted pate... but the lips aren't red. Funny, the difference between a camera lens and an eye.

I relied on the schema of face, of portraiture as an armature to congeal various ways of touch paint to canvas mylar. Certainly two big dabs in the center midline of the picture plane is plenty to hang a face on. A compass rose: portrait, landscape, still life, figures can be another north, south, east, west. One could sail north by northwest for example. Or maybe one might find a 33? 56' North, 118? 24' West in transposed visual/painterly terms..

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I came across these Japanese flip images via Boing Boing.

Joge-e, or ?two-way pictures,? are a type of woodblock print that can be viewed either rightside-up or upside-down. Large numbers of these playful prints were produced for mass consumption in the 19th century, and they commonly featured bizarre faces of deities, monsters or historical figures (including some from China). Only a few examples of original joge-e survive today.

I was thinking of how these mylar layers can cohere into a face... and how we could shuffle them away from face, a flip of each layer into new combinations. Color, too. Permutations.

Here's a closer look:

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I was painting the mylars, aware that the only aspect that would transmit to the press was the silhouette of the solitary painted mark.

So strange.

Then I looked at them again and thought: B?tzer. I'm doing an Andreas B?tzer.

Wow.

Cool.

Posted by Dennis at April 22, 2008 8:43 PM

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