The piece will consist of relatively simple parts-assembled steel studs and Mylar prints. How does one support the other?
The way they go together is simple but still intensive to make. The structure needs to be still and majestic. It logistically works with the scale, so what's better than to use materials that were meant to do exactly that? The construction studs are the material that these buildings are actually made of-very matter of fact. Function, practical, rather than illusionistic and ornate.
The prints won't look so huge in the space. I love working on site-specific installations because it requires me to invent new techniques and ways. It's fun to think about pieces functioning on a different scale. It's designed to be viewed in a different relationship-one closer, so this scale has been hugely important. I'm actually building a building. The sheets are like glass. I'm mimicking a building process without putting in the interior innards, so it's an illusion of a building, but it's incomplete and just a reference. I was collecting these photographs of skyscrapers, and that's how the images were borne. The prints function like a real building as they lay on the outside of the real sculpture. They aren't a structure, just a false membrane.
What printmaking process(es) are you working with for this piece?
Wood cut carving and printing. Reduction woodcut. Reducing the block each time. You lose the image as a result of the process by the time it is made. The hand is present in the prints and is the first point of construction. It's a way of engaging in the medium that references the mass-produced world because of the images that they ultimately describe. Window and mass production. The human hand is conceived of as divorced from the mechanical process, although that's not always the case.
With this particular technique, a reduction block, once you carve and print, carve and print, you sacrifice your block, and you've lost your first layers. You've completed everything you've ever printed. You lose the image.
There is the creating in the studio, then the fragmenting. There will be moments, where parts of the print are cut and reduced in scale.
You've been working with assistants to create the prints. Describe this process. Roughly how many will be incorporated into the final piece?
There's an echo between construction and a print workshop. I've had amazing assistants. I've taken on the role of artist and master printer, determining process and imagery. I've taken photographs and started drawing them out by hand, which is what I usually do. Sometimes images were projected on blocks to trace and redraw with first draft underneath. Then I carved them-I do the initial carving. Assistants help with the clearing. I'm there at each step of defining the image. I mix the color, and they press.
There are five different prints/images. The first layer of these prints were done at Prints of Darkness with master printer Rob Swainston. The initial layer is just flat, so there was no reason to print by hand. Some buildings have a second layer printed on press and finished by hand.