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 collĂ© 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.

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