rom 1980 through 1991, I was a printmaker.
I spent my days at New York's Printmaking Workshop obsessively working on color etching, a demanding and painstaking technique involving the use of acids, solvents, and heavy machinery to arrive at a complex, subtle, rich result: the fine art print.
my asphaltum-splattered and ink-smeared work dress, gloved hands swishing
the bubbles in the acid bath, sweating over the hot plate on the inking
stand or groaning as I cranked the plates through the tremendous pressure
of the etching press, I would declare there was no filthier, more arduous
means to achieve a delicate and beautiful work of art.
elegant images may not belie what their creation entailed. Each of my
multiple image etchings demanded an average of four weeks, working full
days, six, sometimes seven days a week, to create the three zinc plates
from which each impression was pulled. Countless "working proofs:
would be pulled from the plates as I crafted them: etching, sanding, scraping,
adjusting the tones, until they would at last print to my satisfaction.
no wonder that the patron saint of printmakers is the martyred Saint Sebastian.*
artist gravitates toward a medium through which he can best express himself.
Why I chose such a challenging and often tedious means of expression I
can’t quite say; but for fifteen years etching was the ONLY means of creating
art that truly excited me.
adopted him in a moment of solvent-induced punchiness.