Melodrama

Before my second Contemporary Figuration Feedback session, I was lucky enough to have my induction on an Epson 11880. This is, for anyone not in the know, a pretty good printer to say the least. Heading in I thought I would print of 3 a2 prints, kind of to test how they look? just get a feel for it?

I walked out of the induction with an absolutely massive 118 x 90 cm fine art print.

wh-why… me?, Jake Brown, 2021, 118 x 90 cm, Archival print, 300gsm Matte Paper

So this is one of the finished works for the class, some I discovered from printing these on a regular printer is that the yellow was way too high and it could do with some more contrast. My thoughts on printing this were mainly good, though I do wonder if a glossy paper might be more interesting and give deeper blacks? but my printmaker brain just can’t get around the glossy paper.

I hung this in the studio for a few days and got some pretty positive reviews. I also posted a photo of this with myself in front of it to Instagram, and It’s now my most liked image. I think people like to see the artist with the art? but I’m also bad with photos of myself, so I’m not sure how that’s gonna work going foreword.

So this brings us up to the second round of formative feedback. Here are some notes from the session

⦁ In the first session people suggested the works could exist purely as projections, but people seemed more impressed with the large print in the second session. I made them with printing in mind so that makes total sense, If I had made it with projection in mind things would of developed in a different direction.
⦁ The image speaks to more photographic progresses rather than print or painting.
⦁ The print quality is high enough that it gives the illusion of a real collage, the subtle shadow where cutouts overlap adds to the effect.
⦁ The dramatic imagery with the melodramatic comic book text adds a sense of satire to the work, It says out loud what the image is trying to say.
⦁ People noticed interplay of cutouts, where landscapes would blend through the placed images.
⦁ Some viewed the larger figure as an exit to a cave, which is something I hadn’t noticed. Once they mentioned it, I kept seeing both alternating.
⦁ The work had a heavy biblical overtone. I felt this while making it, the larger figure has the image of a priest on the reverse side, so strange that it still shone through in the image.
⦁ The comic book text gives scale to the image, because we are familiar with the size of a comic / magazine.
⦁ large figure is almost lifelike, or the size of a small person.
⦁ Scale brings importance to the work, a sense of reverence for the images.
⦁ The consensus was that the prints have achieved a resolved finish.
⦁ Evokes thoughts of a stain glass window, a sense of a journey, part of a larger story.
⦁ Breaking the frame makes the larger figure seem other worldly. That is it continues off the bottom edge of the print, It’s not contained. Exists on a different plane to the smaller human figure in the image.

Following this session I was super happy with the work I had done, so I decided to go ahead and continue printing off works. obviously I had learnt from the first print, so this second one turned out even better! which was good because it looks better, but worse because It highlights the flaws in the first print. No stress though!

The Fools, Jake Brown, 2021, 118 x 90 cm, Archival print, 300gsm Matte Paper

This print got even more love than the first, I think this is definitely my favorite work that I’ve produced in recent years. An odd feeling came over me when I saw this one, and it was how much I was borrowing images. An off thing to say about a collage work, but the colors came through so vibrant and crisp, but none of them were mine. I don’t know really where this though will go, It’s the kind of thing I’ll need a lot of feedback about.

I hung both prints up in my studio to see them side by side, and was surprised to see how well they work together. Some of the yellow from The Fools feels like it’s bursting into wh-why… me?.

The two works side by side

So that’s almost the end of this project / class and I’m really happy with how it worked out. I really think this project could be expanded to 10 or 12 works, and possibly propose the works to a gallery. I’ll be presenting these next Monday, I’ll post an update when I have my marks!

Wish me luck!

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