hopkinsgirl, 2003-2005

screenprint on patinated copper
19 1/2 x 19 1/2 inches

< the metalgirls >

This mixed media series on the exploration of aspects of the "self" is notable for its experimental means of etching and patinating copper, cold rolled steel and mild steel. This exploration in metals evolved from some earlier work in furniture design that utilized copper that was chemically treated in a large metal vat. In this case, using silkscreen as the means led to the creation of custom formulations of relatively safe screenprinting etching media, one of which was produced in a pan on top of the stove. After testing multiple ingredients in my refrigerator, "Eureka!"

My art expresses innumerable viewpoints in a personal synthesized style that could be dubbed 'perpetual synthesis.' I have focused much of my efforts combining opposing modes of expression. Bringing together the energy of the primitive and the refined pleasures of the cosmopolitan is my focus in the metalsgirls.

californiaswimmergirl is about punkishly exposing the structure of computer vectorization for the purpose of exploiting its raw energy and beauty. It also joins a loosely drawn image (the face) with a photographic image (the shark) and in a twist makes the photographic image almost totally abstract. To boot, the shark becomes the ocean and they are synthesized into one fear.

hopkinsgirl and hopkinscow are both elegies for an extraordinary Victorian poet (Gerard Manley Hopkins) who is quickly fading out of our cultural consciousness. An attempt is made to entice the viewer into his world via contemporary styles of communication using digital tools, all the while knowing that it is futile. In hopkinsgirl, the beautiful blue patina on the copper eats away at the once vibrant red of the fall leaves around her face. (In this case, the emulsion on my screen also was eaten away!)

don't soak in the tragedy series (a subset within the metalgirls) synthesizes the opposing impulses of loose expressionism and intellectual control. A gestural blind contour drawing of a face was scanned and converted into a vector graphic via a Wacom pen. It was then manipulated in Adobe Illustrator with the calligraphy brush in various iterations, enlarged and reduced and cut-up. The roses and petals were directly copied via Xerox, allowing the cut off at the edges of the 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheets to show in the spirit of an early Frank Gehry house where the structure of a building is exposed for its excitement. In compiling the images that appear, certain imperfections are allowed to be (while editing out others) in order to gain some additional energy like a loosely assembled early punk poster. While smart machines are used as devices for both the development of ideas and control, a deliberate attempt is made to leave enough traces of the human hand and chance to give the composition life.

A painterly method of printing linocuts is joined with the orderliness of text. The words. in turn, illicit not only thought but emotion. Always, how something is expressed (styling of text, esthetics of the screen print image, use of color, etc.) is the message.

These are the petite dramas of human experience.