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In the work series titled Architectural Structure, Edifice, Ecuadorian Journey, 870G and 53980 are composed from a combination traditional Intaglio and Relief printmaking techniques Lead type and chine colle combined with computer-generated drawings and digital prints. All of these are used in combination to create dark, meditative works, which allude to the influences of time and erosion on both natural and architectural structures and their surfaces that allude to the erosion of architectural structures and their surfaces; while this exploration in my prints is a continuing theme. I approach each piece in a serial fashion with a similar sensibility towards markmaking achieved through traditional printmaking techniques. The images are composed using a variety of intaglio and relief printmaking techniques. In addition the plates are reworked with the aid of both traditional and alternative hand tools. This process of reworking the surfaces of the materials in an abrasive fashion is important to the work in creating their rich and lush surface. The digital images are produced using digital manipulation programs. This juxtaposition of traditional historic printmaking techniques and digital printmaking applications are intended to introduce a discourse between the traditions and conventions of the printmaking discipline. Both the Intaglio and Relief prints are printed on Kitikata or Mulberry paper. While the digitally produced images are printed on Hamermill drawing paper and are then colled together prior to being adhered to a wooden substrate and incased in wax; that are designed to project the objects off the wall.
The book arts piece such as Double Ring- Folded book IV is also made in a serial manner, similar to my prints. It is made using modest and low art materials; the individual folded sections are physically assembled as signature groups and combining traditional Coptic and pamphlet book binding techniques are bound together. The nature of the materials uses for making these nontraditional, non-utilitarian sculptural forms are Repurposed paperback books, Hardback books, phonebooks, show cards, recycled materials and other printed matter, in addition to fabricated wood and metal rings. The piece is relatively small in scale, emphasis is on both the handmade quality of the object and evidence of the artist hand, this concept and working methodology is closely tied to the “Truth to material” - Contemporary American craft movement. It alludes to the function of craft, even though it is handled and exhibited in similar wary to other visual art objects.
In addition the encaustic prints, etchings and book arts pieces are reflective of an area of focus in my creative research which is an increasing awareness of health safety and the environmental impact of conventional printmaking materials which are often hazardous and toxic and replacing them with health-safe, sustainable, lower-cost alternative substitutions for traditionally used materials , chemicals, and techniques to traditional printmaking and book arts materials and processes. The etched portion of Architectural Structure-003105 the material substitutions made where the use of liquid acrylic floor polish as a replacement for traditional hard grounds, made form asphalt, beeswax and paint thinner and the use of a salt based mordant, composed form Bluestone (copper sulfate), PH down ( sodium bisulfate), salt and water instead of Nitric and Hydrochloric acid. These materials are all of a household quantity and quality and readily available at hardware, grocery and farm supply stores; and are safer alternatives to more traditional avenues. Both the inks and plates used for are aluminum in lieu of more costly materials like copper and zinc and the inks are all rated AP non-toxic approved by the Art & Creative Materials Institute, Inc. (ACMI). As an artist and educator, I feel it is essential to explore the innovative technical advances in safer substitutes for these conventional materials.
All rights reserved @ David Mohallatee 2009