Last week I received a promo e-mail from blurb.com. It prompted me to go on the website to check out a book I had self-published several years ago in conjunction with an art show entitled Setsuna-In The Moment. Scrolling through the book I was reminded how much I enjoyed doing the layout for the book and using it as an adjunct to the show, using text and design to compliment the presentation of the art in the show. I remembered being asked to create books for two of my subsequent solo shows, Mirror, Mirror and The Body Speaks, and decided then and there to finally make them.
I have described the themes and works for these shows in earlier posts here, here and here. As I begin the work on these books I would like to showcase some of the pieces that will be included in them.
This week I would like to present one of the pieces from Mirror, Mirror. It is a photopolymer gravure etching titled Through The Glass – In Her Eyes. I chose this piece for it presents a running theme through all my shows, that of the artist functioning as a mirror to our collective souls.To do so requires a willingness to open oneself to scrutiny as well as the courage to look within oneself for truth and to present that truth as honestly and fully as possible. This piece does that on several levels.
The image is one seen literally through glass, from a photograph of another print behind glass on the wall of an art gallery. The first print, seen below and titled In Her Eyes, is from a previous show of the same name. This print had a number of poems as part of the work but they were partly covered by the images and moreover the writing was backwards, requiring the viewer to look at the print through a mirror to read them. They were poems of longing and deep sadness. Together with the image and its rich yet somber coloring, they expressed the plea of a hesitant soul wanting to be seen.
With the subsequent print the image has been reversed so that the words are more legible. However, photographed behind the glass, it now reflects the walls and windows of the gallery, hiding some of the words and image, thereby creating an interplay of obfuscation and revelation. Inked in black on a stark white paper, it has a graphic quality that invokes the bold nature of both modern photography and traditional printmaking, giving it a sense of timelessness. All of these changes allude to the role of the artist as ‘exhibitionist’ and mirror in society, but also to the fine balance between the personal and the empathic that the artist must find in taking on that role.
Through the Glass – In Her Eyes, an 8″x10″ photopolyner gravure etching, is offered this week at $200, unframed.
In Her Eyes, a 17″x24″ monoprint, is offered this week at $600, unframed.