BACKGROUND, PROCESS, AND DISCOVERY
I don’t know why, but ever since high school I have taken photos of my art, family, and friends. Since then, these three subject areas have represented an ongoing interests and activities, and have defined my existence--giving me reason for living each day up to the present time.
I remember how pleased and important I felt in my late teens when I purchased a Rolleicord Twin Lens Reflex camera. It quickly became a proactive tool for taking B&W photos related to the vicissitudes of my everyday life.
Besides taking pictures, I developed negatives in the bathroom late at night when my parents were asleep. Converting the negative images to sight on photographic paper was always an anticipated wonder to me, knowing it had an hidden image ready to reveal itself in all its photographic detail. It remains to this day a profound experience. It has transformed me in ways I did not know and could not have known at the time.
Photography also gave me a socially acceptable identity softening my anxiety in social situations. Having a camera hang over my shoulder provided me with something worthy to do and share with others when I had little or nothing to say.
Fast forward to 1995 is when a new printmaking subject of interest came to mind: family portraits and friends. This soon became a major project for exploring personal photos taken decades ago and recent ones taken with a digital camera. I began by going back to an earlier time to convert a few personal photos to digital files. This would allow for greater implementation of choices, and creative possibilities by viewing digital files at different levels of magnification. The digital medium was more than I could have imagined. The digital process of augmentation revealed many unperceived details that allowed for more clarity and the use if special effects to take place.
Bringing personal content of non-celebrity families and friends into the printmaking arena and to public art spaces I thought should have the added power of a large-scale bleed print suc h as 40” x 30”, and an unusual challenging method of transferring images from paper-litho plates to BFK paper. The image would be embedded with a unique and seldom used method of printing that I had become quiet familiar with over the years. Although fragile and unpredictable this method, had its own visual character, and seemingly a mind of its own that would be a great asset in creating a radically different kind of artfulness and style in portraiture. This would be my way of honoring my parents and celebrating my dear family, and friends within the inviolable realm of art.
John Avakian, Oct. 23, 2018
SEE SLIDE SHOW BELOW
Detail of David T. See full portrait in slide show below this page.
DAVID A AT CAFE BLAZE Bleed Monoprint 42" h X 29.5" w