Thursday, May 26, 2011

Slow like Molasses

A sticky warm spring night at Space 1026 and the bell rang-announcing a slow moving group of sweet printmakers crawling up the gallery stairs. They had descended upon the streets of Philadelphia to promote their print show Melaza (or molasses) opening this week at James Oliver Gallery.

USA LA MELAZA 2 is the the second installment of a international print making collaboration by the five artists including Grimaldi “Barbarian” Baez, Omar “Pickle Fingers” Velazquez, Kyle “Canned-Tux” Nilan, Patrick “Print Wraith”Casey, Eli “The Word” Epstein.

They gave me a beautiful show poster (here's a pic) and told me to stop by the James Oliver Gallery on Friday. Its a popup show, and will only be up for 10 days so catch it while you can. The gallery is located at 723 Chestnut Street on the 4th floor. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Enrique Chagoya's "The Head Ache" at The Met

The Headache: A Print After George Cruikshank, 2010. Enrique Chagoya

On May 12th, the New York Times published an article about an upcoming exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art entitled, “Infinite Jest: Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine,” which opens on September 13.1 Presenting a number of satirical works from the Met’s own collection of drawings and prints, the show will also include a print by Philagrafika 2010 artist Enrique Chagoya entitled, “The Headache: A Print After George Cruikshank” (2010).

Created as a part of Philagrafika 2010’s Out of Print program, “The Headache” emerged out of the Rosenbach Museum and Library’s Cruikshank collection, referring to a 19th-century print by Cruikshank entitled, “The Head Ache.” The print itself features President Barack Obama being
tormented at the hands of the small beasts representing the trials he inherited with his presidency, such as healthcare reform, the war in Iraq, and the recession.

To create the print, Chagoya married a number of modern and traditional print techniques in homage to Cruikshank’s original image. After separating the orginal print into its two parts: the etching itself and the hand-colored watercolor, Chagoya first printed the watercolor digitally, and then converted the second element onto a new etching plate in which he replaced the original figure’s face with that of President Obama. Chagoya then brought these two elements back together with the assistance of Cindi Ettinger of C. R. Ettinger Studio in Philadelphia through a chine collé process. For this multi-process print, Enrique also worked with Rick Decoyte at Silicon Gallery Fine Art Prints in Philadelphia as well as Don Farnsworth at Magnolia Editions in Oakland, Ca.

The Rosenbach unveiled the newly created print alongside Cruikshank’s original, along with a hand-coloring workshop
in which visitors were invited to color black and white versions of the print.

Enrique Chagoya and visitors during the public watercoloring event at The Rosenbach Museum and Library

For the workshop, Chagoya allowed visitors to “color in our own stories” making them collaborators in his joke with his participation in Philagrafika 2010’s Out of Print series, and his piece, “The Headache: A Print After George Cruikshank” is sure to make a great addition to the Met’s upcoming exhibition as well.2

To see more images and information about Enrique Chagoya's project for the Out of Print series, see his link here to our Philagrafika 2010 festival website:

A more in-depth discussion of Chagoya’s involvement in Philagrafika 2010, and the entire Out of Print series are available in our recently released catalogue, Philagrafika 2010: The Graphic Unconscious. The print is also available for purchase as a part of Philagrafika 2010’s Signature Edition Series. For more information, please contact Rebecca Mott at


  1. For the full New York Times article:
  2. Perkins, Caitlin. Philagrafika 2010: The Graphic Unconscious, p. 97.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Featured Edition: The Fourteen Major Infections of Adam& Eve by Eric Avery

Printmaker and Physician Eric Avery visited from Galveston, TX a few weeks ago to finish up his Philagrafika Signature Edition with The Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions (BCIE) at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. Here he is signing the edition in the company of Master Printer (BCIE) Anne Mckeown and Assistant Director (BCIE), Paul Limperopulos.

The first block for this print is printed with yellow ochre, the second block with green umber and the third block with black key. The fourth block is a text block printed with burnt Umber ink.

The Signature Edition print is a variation of the woodblock print he created for his Philagrafika 2010 piece exhibited at The Print Center, Jan-April 2010 (shown above).

His provocative images frequently appropriate from famous works of art such as Albrecht Dürer's Adam and Eve, but he also adapts imagery from old master prints of medical subjects. In the last few decades his artistic endeavors have included a performance component in which he essentially runs clinics in his art installations, testing visitors for HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, and other infectious diseases.

We thoroughly enjoyed working with Eric on this project and welcome him back to Philly anytime!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Featured Edition: The Fourteen Major Infections of Adam and Eve by Eric Avery

Eric Avery was here from Galveston, Texas a few weeks ago finishing up his four color Chiaroscuro print as part of Philagrafika's Signature Edition Series. The print was created at The Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions in New Brunswick, NJ. Here, Eric is joined by Master Printer Ann McKeown and Assistant Director Paul Limperopulos while he signs the edition of 25.

The first block for this print is printed with yellow ochre, the second, with green umber and the third is black key. The fourth block is a text block printed with burnt umber ink.

This print is a variation on the one exhibited during Philagrafika 2010 at The Print Center.

The Fourteen Major Infections of Adam and Eve is available for purchase. Contact Rebecca Mott at