While traveling for the National Day of Feasting – aka. Thanksgiving – I got to spend an evening in Asheville with two dear friends. They indulged my whims of tacos and Muppets. Then to top off the evening we visited the home of my favorite $7 milkshake – French Broad Chocolate Lounge. The milkshakes, if you ever happen to be in the area, are made of homemade ice cream, and cream and whipped cream, and I’m pretty sure there’s some love in there; they are worth the price.
On the walls of the Chocolate Lounge is the work of artist Andy Farkas. I’ve seen his prints quite a few times now, as I keep coming back for milkshakes. I’ve always been impressed with his obvious love of his materials. I sense a great deal of reverence in the touch and attention that Andy expends on his blocks and ink. He makes wood engravings of expressive animals that serve as a metaphor for human experiences.
You should watch this little movie. It was filmed at an art and chocolate event at the Chocolate Lounge. In it Andy talks about his work, you can see some of his highly detailed woodblock carvings and near the end there’s some printing with chocolate going on. I love how he describes of the use of text in his work – that “words enlarge what the print is saying.”
Each semester my Beginning Printmaking students get to choose their own adventure for their Relief printmaking project. The get to pick between making a five layer reduction woodblock print or making an installation that incorporates woodblock printing. Each semester something really special happens during this assignment. This year that something special was Chelsea’s life-size mounted deer head made with hand printed fur, foam insulation, and salt dough antlers. Her father and her brother enjoy hunting and this piece is her way of joining in.
There is a looooong and inspiring, shared history of printmaking and social democracy. There are a few print communities who have perpetuated this relationship into our modern times – (justseeds.org) Engaged people sharing their thoughts by spreading the prints.
OccuPrint is a collection of artists who are curating the prints of the Occupy Wall Street movement. According to their website they grew out of a project with the Occupied Wall Street Journal and have gone on to become something larger – “the OccuPrint website is meant to connect people with this work, and provide a base of support for print-related media within the #Occupy movement”
Be sure to check out their PrintLab page for some print at home Occupy graphics.
All of my prints begin as photos. In this layout I’ve combined a few different still images and played around with the transparency. I’m trying to get started on a few smaller prints for my orals. I want to approach these as print, not print/video combos. But I can see that answering some questions just creates more questions. For now, I’m just working away on creating more negatives for printing. Here’s one that’s from a series I took last Father’s day.