Spent some of my weekend trying to clear the clutter out of my studio. I'd taken a bunch of stuff out of flat files to reach something a few weeks ago, and had never gotten back to it. I had, in part, an archival challenge: putting things back with a little more forethought than the last time I dealt with my flat files, when we moved into the house, now about 16 months ago.
In the process I came across a set of prints I made years ago, in a first pass at the project that became Mohicanland. I finished three of these and had a fourth underway when I decided that both the palette and the pictorial logic were wrong for the project. The yellow for Mohicanlandwent ochre, as opposed to this fairly screaming yellow-orange, and the characters were presented in a more simplified, almost cartoon sort of way.
My old friend Kevin Garber sat for Myron. I miss the pair, Kevin and Kathy, who took off for parts east a few years ago, and seem happy. Kevin's new work, wooden signal flags, is reminiscent of his love affair with wooden boats, circa 1986 or 87, as well as the beautiful sport of barroom tabletop shuffleboard.
I had forgotten how observed these portraits were, especially this one. Truth be told, I had forgotten that this print existed at all.
Likewise I did not recall my nearly scholastic investment in these calligraphic passages and brush marks, visible in a detail.
These prints date to 1995. The sentence which includes "I am an exile from my own biography" was the first uttterance of the project. I wrote it in a ruled composition book while camping out for coffee at a Greek restaurant in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in 1994.
Tonight I'm thinking of Kevin and Kathy, as well as Mike Javernick, Patrick Renschen and my old printer pal Betsy Ruppa, all of whom enjoyed hanging out in our group studio in the Leather Trades Building in St. Louis during those years.
Betsy printed these images, the only explanation for the excellent registration...