He works on lithographs across from the monitor desk at the Bob Blackburn printshop. Devraj hunches a bit, as many master printers tend to. I watch him pull prints from stones with two hands and arms which would wobble on another man his age.
I sit here on Wednesdays, checking people in and glaring at them when they steal my pens. Mostly my job consists of fetching newsprint and politely informing the shop guests that we do not have any chargers available for your iPhone 6000.
The other day he asked me for a dozen sheets of newsprint, I gave him one. He held up two fingers, signaling he wanted 11 more. I thought he meant he wanted two total, and I brought him one more. He laughed and shook his head and said one dozen. Frustrated with myself I fetched him 10 more sheets and sank back into my best-guessed desk.
Devraj took an interest in my work. He saw two of my largest prints last week, I intentionally left them against the wall one evening. The images are made from photographs of rocks, and I am using a simple process to work with textual objects.
“Oh, these are yours,” he said. “I saw them, they are good.” He moved a few of my shapes around to make more interesting ones, said more with his hands than his mouth, and left with a nod. Devraj is not the hard, experienced New York artist with no time for dillying. He moves with an informed and quiet kindness. I left the printshop that evening feeling I had been seen.