Each screen print has a story behind it. I actually take a photograph of the object I want to represent, and I require that it have sentimental value. The theme for the prints has been "simple mechanics", tools objects and concepts that are essential to our culture and civilization.
The Mason Jar has got to be one of the most simple illustrations of this.
The way jars found their way into my heart was through their usability. As a broke artist food was something I never wanted to waste, and I didn't have the interest in buying fancy dishware, so I saved all my salsa and jelly jars and used them over and over again to carry water. The Ball Mason jar is the most beautiful illustration of this concept which to me symbolizes preservation and survival.
In Appalachia the mason jar carries a particularly symbolic weight for moonshiners and canners alike. It has been said that the mason jar could be at least partially accredited with the survival of the mountain folks. A simple honest invention we can no longer live without.
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This screen print was the forth one ever created by Rhetorical Factory
A tape cassette speaks perfectly to the theme of Simple Mechanics as well as our philosophy
This cassette, Electric Sixties is one of my favorites to listen to in my Subaru, which does not have a CD player. I love "Born to Be Wild" and all the other uplifting nostalgic tunes.
There are several bands I would never have grown to love if it weren't for them playing over and over in my neglect to simply change the tape. I sometimes think that listening to any album over and over again will result in a craving for and deep appreciation of the music, even if it's the most immature conglomeration of sounds.
I try to test this theory when I've got the patience, and have a lot of music left to explore!
When I was preparing to do my first screen prints, I went to the library to find images in art history books. What I was looking for was anything that inspired me, and was also public domain. I came across a few very cool images which ended up not turning out so well during the transfer. Of that type of inspiration what I ended up using the most were two very simple, somewhat symbolic images: the "Tree" and the "Lady" is how I refer to them. They both come from the same painting by Hieronymus Bosch: The Garden of Earthly Delights. I wonder if you can figure out which images I used, it took me awhile to find them again!
The tree is a fairly obvious choice for a print, especially being in Asheville - a very nature-oriented place. Although now I wish I had taken a photograph of a local tree for the print (and maybe someday I will) I think the one I use from this painting has some relevance. I like to think of how long this painting has been around (since the late 1400s), how rich it is with meaning and symbolism and how many eyes have seen it and in turn reflected because of it. The image I have is a very simple representation of a tree, which keeps with my general theme of simplicity. Another cool thing is when the screen was burned a piece of hair dropped onto it and formed a spiral. I don't think it shows up any more since I've printed with it so many times but several people out there are wearing it!
Now the lady is a very symbolic image. In the painting she is an actual woman, not just the silhouette as I have made her. There are therefor two ways to interpret her- as the shadow of a woman and as an actual woman. Then of course I do print her in white and brown, so sometimes I think of an Elliott Smith song when I am printing her in white "The White Lady Loves You More". What is a woman? Certainly a mysterious creature. Blamed in the Bible as being the temptress that brought humanity into sin, but also the bearer of life in all of nature's cycles. She is inside all of us whether we are male or female identified, and she has taken a beating but is making a comeback in our current age. Sometimes Asheville is referred to as SheVille. I have come to appreciate the feminine energy here and I do believe everyone in the world can benefit from connecting with a motherly, sweet and loving version of God.
These two prints belong together! Indeed a bit different from the simple-machine orientation of the other Rhetorical Factory prints but key nonetheless.