Artist Statement

This series is a return to working with the collography process. This process is relatively recent in the history of printmaking, perhaps just fifty years old at this time. It's a more primitive printmaking process which is extremely open to invention. The standard procedure seems to be to begin with a matboard base of about the same thickness as a copper or zinc etching plate. This cardboard is then altered via innumerable methods to create the relief necessary to print the plate in the same way etching plates are printed--by pushing ink into the recesses and cleaning the top surface of the plate before running it through the press to transfer ink to paper. The plate can be scratched, cut, objects can be glued to the plate--any number of approaches which create textures which will help retain the ink necesary for printing. The process tends not to be used for super realistic approaches to art although qualities which resemble realist drawing can be created with collographs.

To this point, I've felt more comfortable working abstractly by cutting the plates, gluing papers of different textures, using sand paper, applying adhesives to the plate surface, etc., etc. In this way the work has come to be an investigation of color, texture and sometimes form. I've been back at this process for about six months now and have two or three series which have begun to develop which sometimes overlap in important ways.
There began a series of squares which were largely about color and texture and since I've been dealing more with lines and stripes which investigate notions of space.

All images copyright © 2001-2012 Michael McCarthy, all rights reserved.

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