David Bjoerling Jensen

Tag: printmaking

Brooklyn’s Ringmasters of Monochrome Woodcut Follies

Their mission at Cannonball Press is a simple recipe:

  • 1 lurking artist
  • 1 one-eyed master printer
  • 1 idea
  • 5 cups backwater goo
  • 6 spoonfuls of jumpstart and holler
  • 9 lbs. mess with your face
  • 1 bottle Tickle-My-Fancy
  • 6 smatterings of kick-ass juice
  • 1 handful of Fine Art

Preheat idea in Oven of Rock.  Make sure color is off!  Allow images to gestate and contort at will.  When mysterious, funny, or twisted, remove and slap on table.  Add all ingredients, and beat and cut until smooth and hot.  Do not add Fine Art at this point.  Add master printer, work him into a steady boil, edition.  Throw Fine Art in trash.

Sign and serve.

Reviving a centuries-old craft of artistic reproduction in printmaking–relief woodcuts–this Brooklyn-based artist collective is actively churning out visually stimulating works of art with astonishing skill, craftsmanship, and originality.  Their output is high quality, black-and-white prints such as these:

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"Overheard in NYC III" by Mike Houston

"Speakers" by Mike Houston

The founders of this funky printing press were awarded a USA Ford Fellowship in 2009.  Prints are available for sale at a very reasonable price on their website.

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Infinite Jest

Cruikshank The Head Ache

George Cruikshank (British, 1792–1878). The Head Ache, February 12, 1819.

Above pictured is an example of what one will find at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s current exhibition entitled “Infinite Jest:  Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine”, on view for only a few more days until March 4.  The images presented show remarkable works of social commentary and political satire from the past several centuries, showcasing amazing examples of printmaking in the form of woodcuts, engravings, and lithographs.

While the pieces hold their own as amusing artworks–simultaneously lifelike and completely un-lifelike!–they are imbued with true meaning through their descriptions, which flesh out the historical period in which they were created so as to breathe contextual life into their existence.  Many of the prints have never been exhibited, and aren’t widely known, except to specialists in the field.  This is, simply, amazing curation!

If you happen to be in the NYC area, do yourself a favor and stop by to check it out before it’s long gone!