"A SENSE OF PLACE" - An autobiographical piece depicting a house from My hometown, Mount Vernon, NY and the beach sand at St. Augustine, Florida. The sand patterns echoed the rythyms of the waves and and seemed to sum up my life at the time. Technically the print was the first one i used a self applied light sensitive emulsion. The house image is a separate shaped plate fitted into the larger plate. In other respects the processes used follow the print described above.
"CECILIA: THE ARTIST'S MOTHER AS A YOUNG WOMAN" - This print was created as a memorial to my mother who had encouraged me to pursue my curiosity and talent. I chose a photo of her found in a old photo album taken in the early part of the century, prior to World War I. She had often said that she didn't want me to portray her as an old woman as Rembrandt had done with his mother so this picture seemed perfect. The flying seagulls seemed to express her ultimate freedom from a long and debilitating illness. Creating the image proved to be a great catharsis.
The image was developed as a photographic blend and collage from which a halftone was shot. After exposure and etching on a presenitized plate, extensive manipulated by hand. Boiled grounds, aquatints and much scraping and burnishing were used to develop the exact feeling I wanted for this piece. The grid perspective pattern is from a distorted DeVries drawing. It was applied to the plate using a photosensitized silk screen with a negative image to screen asphaltum onto the plate which was then etched.
THE MAGIC HOUSE: TERRA INCOGNITA - This print was one of a series I developed from line or high contrast shots made from the Dutch artist DeVries early perspective drawings and engraving. Images were often reversed and overlapped to created illogical conflicting perspectives. In this particular case I had made an earlier two plate print using the same line shots. Looking at a proof of just the line image one day, I folded and wrinkled the image. I liked the further distortion of the perspectives and the way the light falling on the folded paper looked. Decided to reshoot the whole thing.
Process cameras, at least our process camera have a copy board for flattening material under a glass cover and powerful photo lamps suspended on either side. In order to keep the folds and wrinkles, I taped the paper to the outside of the copy board and unplugged one of the lights which created distinct shadows. I have always like the idea that innovations occur in the process of creating images and so I was intrigued by what I saw in the camera's frosted glass. I made two shots, one a line shot for just the linear elements and one a halftone shot to record the values. Later these two films were exposed and etched into the plate one over the other, strengthened with traditional etching and engraving and printed. A second plate was made containing a grid and printed under the image in red to emphasize the illusion. This discovery in alternate ways to use the camera lead to a new series of prints.
"THE WEDDING FEAST" - This is one of the earliest prints of the series created during the 1970's. To explore the possibilities of the process camera and halftone image and to see how faithfully various textures could be reproduced I made a fairly complex collage consisting of my own photographs, images from magazines, aluminum foil, wax paper. I was delightfully surprised to see how accurately they were captured.
The complete image was printed from two presensitized plates with three shaped plates inserted, eg. the nude in the foreground, the gray hand and the blue sky.