Monday, February 28, 2011

Happy accidents

Well, for my senior project I've decided that I'm going to print all of my portraits on transparency paper. There are other deeper reasons but I will get into that later. I started testing some today and realized very quickly (after the first print) how dumb I am. I was in a rush when buying these expensive transparencies and missed where it clearly states "Write-on Transparency Film", then "Not for use in copiers and printers". "Awesome," I thought. But I began looking at the first print I made--it was a photo of my friend Caylyn. It was very...stylized and interesting looking:

Sure, my first thought was "that's creepy." The composition I'd created coupled with the way I edited it before printing made for an already interesting design, that I can take credit for, but the blots and runs of ink were completely left to chance. This is where I thank my artist predecessors, Duchamp, Cage, Pollock, and Rauschenburg among several others...probably several others I know nothing about that challenged the rules of art and incorporated laws of chance into their pieces. Oh man, I feel these art history courses running through my veins...I have to stop myself here. Back on task, back on task.

So, like Jean Arp and many others I decided to roll our old master painters out of their graves just a little more by doing another print. It's a photo of me playing piano, actually but once again manipulated in a way that reduced the original photo down to just 3 colors or so:

This one was printed much larger and more densely but I still love the way the ink separates and forms small spots of emptiness. Of course, the "white" that you see in these 2 prints is actually transparent, I just placed them on a white surface when taking the pictures. I won't be using this style for my portraits...It'd get to expensive with ink but I love the feeling of discovering something new even in the midst of "failure." I guess I just have to keep an open mind.


  1. Josh, what an awesome talent you have, turning a mistake into something great. keep up the good work!

  2. Very interesting! Tricks the brain or eyes a little!