I am fascinated by all the ways you can do silkscreen wrong. You spend several hours preparing and burning a screen and then in a fit of complete stupidity you reach for a bottle of “something” and spray the screen and the “something” turns out to be…. emulsion remover. (It does, in fact, say something about emulsion on the bottle, you just don’t bother to notice the word “remover.”) Before completely throwing up my hands in frustration I sprayed the screen with water, and lo, it turned out I had a very interesting mistake on my hands.
I came home from the print studio at Pratt, (where I am in theory learning “how-to”), and threw some ink in a tray and started wildly printing. Or painting. I am not sure which this is, and am happy not to. Why hydrants, you might ask? I don’t, actually, I just follow them, as if led inexorably by a leash.
But there is this business of artist “statements” and knowing why it is you do what you do. I was talking with a friend and collaborator yesterday about obsessions, and his currently is dams. Yes, he will drive 300miles to find a small obscure dam in order to document its existence. The common theme here is water, and the majesty of infrastructure. As the world teeters bit by bit I do love a piece of metal I cannot lift, put together with a flawless arrangement of bolts and screwplates and circles and cones in a way handed down through hundreds of years from men with rough hands and wrenches. Not only are these articles of urban engineering marvels to look at, but we depend on them to spew water where we want it and to keep it under the ground when we don’t. I imagine a huge force under the earth, the water always there with many-headed ferocity, and only the stalwart little hydrant to keep it in check. I have my own brilliant yellow hydrant in front of my house, and it makes me happy every time I come home and see it there, surrounded by equally yellow dandelions. I feel safe.
This last one is technically silkscreen and digital but in describing it I am being optimistic. I have not yet dared to print the actual blue tint in silkscreen across the top and am testing colors in Photoshop before I jump to the screen.