All posts tagged: contemporary

I know who Devraj is

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 …

diana morales G

is an artist from Mexico City. I was connected to her through a friend at totemic17, an artist collective focusing on contemporary woodcut printmaking. Diana’s work features architectural forms, the matrix she creates is modern and personal; I am interested in the artist behind the lines. The lines themselves are confident and loose, an honest representation of urban space. The tool lifts from wood, allowing a pause, the construction of real space. We may be looking at the same time, the graphic render of our repetitive environment is appealing to me. I am looking at her addition of curve into a grid, something I have yet to practice. I wonder of the differences in city, she is drawing in Mexico City, I am drawing in New York. How do I allow pause in the narrow forms of New York? Or, more importantly, where is there pause in New York? Perhaps it is a matter of time/of day …Back to the studio, will find some wood… Images are copy and pasted from the artist’s facebook, 2016  

Who is Devraj?

Who is Devraj? I think she works across the hall at the Elizabeth for the Arts Foundation’s Project Space. Pretty sure she’s the pretty girl with black hair who sits on a mac and has vocabulary to discuss contemporary art. There is a post-it note with her phone numbers stuck to the mac desktop I’m sitting at. Guess where? I’m across the hall at the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop. Founded in 1948 by the printmaker and master printer Robert Blackburn, the shop has existed to provide access to fine-arts printmaking for almost 70 years. A screenprinted tshirt with an image of the African-American artist pushing a roller towards the viewer hangs on the wall near the plastic lunch table. They are available IN MANY COLORS! for $25. Can you do me a big favor and buy me a black one? Not yet, I am waiting on a package of newspaper clippings to arrive. An artist named Ronnie ran into me at the co-op. She asked where I worked, I told her RBPMW. She goes Oh, …

Anila Quayyum Agha

I am looking at the sewn flowers Anila Quayyum Agha has cut from paper and stitched together. The series is entitled All the Flowers Are For Me, and was made in 2015. The text next to the sculptural images informs me the pieces explore public and private space through light and pattern. I imagine a Agha cutting with a sharp tool and using a needle to puncture the paper. The pieces are paper flowers more intricate than the typical snowflake, embroydered together and framed with about 1 inch behind to show shadow through the lace-like pattern. The flowers look like delicate window panes, they are beautiful, they think of repetition, the forever-work of precision, women.    Anila Quayyum Agha, All the Flowers Are For Me, 2015. Mixed media on paper. On view at Booklyn Academy of Music through June.

The big baby has been boarding the A train four days a week for Manhattan.

34th street penn station   I get on at Utica and hustle to the printshop on 37th. I take out the trash and sweep the studio with Ramona. We are the interns. I work in exchange for studio access. The shop provides a shared shelf, chemicals, and three presses. At 11 on a Monday, the studio manager asks us to coat silkscreens with emulsion. The screens are tall beyond my body – 10 feet high and 5 feet wide. We stack them against a wall vertically and mask the edges of the mesh with tape. The mesh count is 250 threads per square inch, a high count to print detailed half-tone color images. We print using CMYK color; the image is broken into color parts. Cyan, magenta, yellow, and key black films are made, exposed to screens, and printed on one piece of paper to produce a full spectrum of color. We need four screens coated with emulsion to make one image. The emulsion looks like thick pink paint. I use a large scoop to apply …

cyanotype test

I made a cyanotype at the Lower East Side Printshop today. We mixed cyanotype solution part A with part B using a graduated cylinder, careful to fill the cylinder to the 50 mL mark. The curve of the liquid in a cylinder is called the meniscus, Romona and I remembered together. After mixing the chemical we applied it to paper using spongy brushes and covered it with plastic trash bags to prevent UV exposure. Once the paper dried we put it behind plastic films (not mylar, but another similar material) and hermetically sealed the glass plated emulsion tank. We exposed the screen using a UV bulb and measurement unit. We began at 600 lumens, and then taped rubylith to block the UV light from entering one of the test strips, creating consecutive exposure tests for 600, 700, and 800 lumens. The rubylith functions in a similar way to a piece of cardboard covering photo-sensitive paper does while making a test strip in a photography darkroom.     After removing the cyanotype and washing the exposed …