Saturday, June 23, 2012

New Explorations in Etching

Detail: Through Humans' Scope
Aquatint Etching, ©2012, Elana Goren

Through Humans' Scope
Chin Colle Aquatint Etching, ©2012, Elana Goren

I had been experimenting with different ways to create explosive, violent images using aquatint etching techniques and this piece is a result of those explorations.

My goal was to use 12 to 16 plates (all 9" x 6") to print in a brick pattern on large (44" x 30") paper in order to create a kind of wall of explosive imagery that one could see from a distance. As the viewer came closer to the piece, images would emerge from the dark, splattered areas and the experience would be more complete.

Technically, the difficulty lay in inking and wiping that many plates at once and printing them with the hopes that there was enough consistency in the color tone and richness through all the images. I also needed to see that their arrangement would be visually balanced throughout the entire piece.                         

I started by printing them on Unryu paper which is very thin and has fibers in it that I hoped would add to the chaos of the imagery. I layed these prints out on top of the big sheet of Rives BFK to figure out my composition and get a sense of how the prints were all working together. During this process I realized that chin colle was the way to go as I saw the piece come together.

My description of Through Humans' Scope for an upcoming show is as follows:
Animals are simple caricatures in most humans’ minds, not existing in our reality unless they are being utilized for some selfish purpose or another. This concept was the driving force behind my etching piece, Through Humans’ Scope, where animals are depicted in outline form, almost not there, until their image crosses into the dark realm of violence and exploitation where they turn into actual flesh. The explosive, dark fields, almost reminiscent of gunshots, bring each of the twelve subjects into a more modeled and fleshed out version of themselves. Only through violence do they become real to humans.

Through Humans' Scope, can be seen at the Theo Ganz Gallery in Beacon, NY from July 14 until September 2, 2012.

UPDATE: This piece was mentioned in a NY Times article.

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