Through serigraphy and relief printmaking I create personal images that reference pop culture, moments in history, and experiences I’ve had. More often than not, abstraction plays a large role in the works I create. Where there are references and influences of art history in my work, I find that pairing a recognizable concept or image with something unknown gives my work added interest. Through experimenting with abstraction, I have come to be interested in monoprints in various mediums of printmaking.
In my undergraduate career, I have found that the outcome of many printmaking processes are editions- identical versions of the same print, image, etc. What interests me in printmaking is “breaking the rules” by creating works that are unique to themselves, and that cannot be editioned exactly. Monoprinting allows me to become familiar with different print mediums and to push them to their limits. Relief lends itself well to capturing the surface of the objects I print with, which are often non-conventional, and sometimes found in nature. Through relief monoprinting I create tactile textures and compelling compositions by layering colors and images on top of each other. In serigraphy, I find that adding layers on top of layers of ink begins to blur the lines between painting and printing, leaving room for an expressive quality in the works I create.
When pairing imagery with abstraction I tend to look into my interests or experiences. In the past, I have made several editions of monoprints that relate to my travels in Europe- namely, Greece. This has allowed my experience to become influenced by Greek history and in turn, this becomes a visible concept in my prints. I have drawn inspiration from artists who work with pop culture, such as Andy Warhol, and in the past have worked to mimic his repetitive pop-art style in prints that attempt to represent my hometown of Minneapolis. While I cannot re-create his work, I have looked to Warhol’s prints and paintings to better grasp the concept of using pop-culture references in my own work.
Currently in my studio practice I am working to create pieces that are completely non-subjective but that explore shape, color, and emotion through their composition. Recently, I have become interested in exploring the relationship between shape and color, and using them in a way that attempts to make the viewer feel a certain emotion when looking at the finished piece. This relationship between shape, color, and emotion furthers the idea that I am blurring the lines between painting and printing in my work.
Many times, I have found myself making works that are less about the outcome and more about process, but through my current body of work I am choosing to focus more on the outcome as I throw the printmaking “rules” out during my process. Monoprinting allows me to combine what I have learned about printmaking processes with experimentation, which in turn allows me to see how far I can push the limits of this medium. Monoprinting also lends itself well to the combination of various print mediums (in my case, serigraphy and relief) and allows me to explore how the different consistencies of ink interact with each other, and how they interact on the page.
Through the vast area that printmaking covers I have managed to find a process that allows me to be expressive and creative while also challenging me to work within what can be a rather rigorous process of creating. The combination of the rigorous and the fluid is what I have become interested in, and what I strive to achieve in my work.