January 16, 2006

Intaglio Printmaking Class

"The Subjugation of Man," artist's proof.

[Click on image for hi-res version]

This print is an etching done with hard ground on a copper plate. Although the plate is in its final state, the print is only a proof, as evidenced by the blotches of unwiped ink in some areas. One of the most challenging aspects of intaglio printmaking is wiping the surface of the plate consistently without removing too much of the grooved ink, resulting in a weak, dim image. This task becomes even more difficult in the presence of much fine detail on the plate (clever me).

The assignment for the class was "Historical Event." I decided on a symbolic, post-fact depiction of the fall of humanity centralizing on the withered carcass of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The human element in the image is portrayed in the form of an ancient statue which has been enshrined and nearly overtaken by the grasping root structure of the ancient tree. One of the statue's hands reaches out for the illusory fruit, perpetually out of reach. The shadow or influence of the snake is still palpable, despite the aparent expanse of time which has passed since the actual event.

"A little knowledge is a dangerous thing."
- Conventional Wisdom

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