So! This was my first attempt at a reduction printing. This is when you use the same block to print different layers for one image. Escher used it a lot, and its always blown my mind.
It still blows my mind, but I took pictures of this attempt to demonstrate that it is possible! Mostly, it took me quite some time to get my head around the fact that the images will be in reverse, AND you need to think of shading backwards as well (carve out the white parts rather than shadow, as most of us are used to drawing the positive, not negative of what we see).
Anyhow- the subject matter is inspired by the coalition of immokalee workers, farmers in Florida who pick tomatoes (mostly for fast food corporations. burger king. ) and get paid below poverty wages. www.ciw-online.org
for more info. I want to make art with a relatively strong social message, so let me know how this comes across to you....
I found the initial image of a worker picking tomatoes, posterized it in photoshop to visualize my 3 layers.
I sketched the first (lightest) layer onto my block and started carving away, leaving a textured background.
Here he is, upside down, locked into the vandercook press: the best way to be sure each layer is registered properly if you're doing multiple prints.
The first layer- I did about 35 or so, mostly on newsprint so I could post em up, raise awareness and such.
I didn't take a picture of just the second layer but its the brown color. Then I carved away everything but the tomatoes (so sad to see all that work disappear, but it's not called a suicide block for nothin)
This is the finished poster, about 11x15 inches.
The border and top half are silkscreened from a photoshopped image of workers standing in front of a pyramid of buckets. Each would weigh about 35-40 lbs filled with tomatoes, equalling 2 tons. Which is how much one worker will need to pick and haul to a truck in one day to receive $50 dollars.
Thanks for looking, a lot of work went into this project but its rewarding, I wish i could just do this stuff all day every day.
Comments are loved!