Stories are not only written but are often told in the form of visual art, dance, theater, etc… My intaglio print “Family Album Hieroglyphics: Man, Full With His Memories” was recently accepted into the catalog for the WCA (Women’s Caucus for the Arts) show “STORIES WE TELL” in New York.
A symbiosis of two art forms was the basis for the “Family Album Hieroglyphic” series – my children’s “stick figures” and my photographs. When my children were young, our family took many trips in Colorado and Utah. We hiked through the canyon lands and visited many unusual rock formations, cliff dwellings, pueblos, petroglyphs and pictographs.
At the time, there was a direct relationship between the primitive “stick figures” my children had drawn and the petroglyphs and western landscapes I was photographing. I combined the two art forms and exposed them on to zinc plates which I etched, inked, and printed on paper on an etching press. That was the creation of this intaglio print series “Family Album Hieroglyphics”.
The intense emotions evoked in my children’s “stick figures” validated many family and cultural issues that are commonplace to everyone. Fears, friendship, loneliness, ethnic and gender issues, strife, pets, holidays, sports, and celestial configurations were captured in their simple, yet complex renderings. By combining my children’s primitive “stick figures” and my photographic backgrounds, I created art images that tell multiple stories with a sense of depth and compassion. The “Family Album Hieroglyphic” intaglio prints ALL tell stories and recollect emotions that we can relate to.
“Man, Full With His Memories” brings back recollections of both friends and foe, happiness and hostility. A faceless tree-like figure is imprisoned by hand holding pairs of smiling figures in “Mr. Lonetree Stands Alone”. This print depicts alienation, loneliness, and the need for relationships. “Women, They’re All the Same…” is a common, but inaccurate statement. Although a satirical art piece, my child’s rendition of women’s hairdo’s is humorous. Are women really so robotic in nature? “Jack Be Nimble…” is spoof on the well known rhyme and Halloween spooks. “Indian Memories” is as haunting as Edward Munch’s “The Scream”, which is one of my favorite works of art and depicts intense human emotion. “Man’s Best Friend, Or Is It?” tells about our preoccupation with our favorite pet, the dog.
I’m fascinated with many other primitive art forms and enchanted by the symbolism and story telling involved. I’ve visited many “prehistoric” or Upper Paleolithic caves such as Lascaux in France and Cueva de la Pileta in Spain. The stories about the discovery of these caves is remarkable too! In Lascaux, the sophistication of the so called “prehistoric artists” is exemplified by the overlapping of animals, use of perspective, and blending of colors. Egyptian hieroglyphics in later centuries was a formal pictorial writing system that also influenced my art.
Stories We Tell is a common theme in artwork throughout the ages!