…I don’t have a premeditated plan when I’m making prints. It’s more of a reflection on what’s already there: The paper motivates me to do something, to react to what exists. In the case of this new series, which has a lot of circles, I’m curious to see them in combination with the background color of a found card or in relationship to the rhythm of each card’s typewriter typography. My method takes time: I print one color, then wait for at least a day for the drying process; on the next day or whenever, I react again to what there is now…

The influential Dutch graphic designer Karel Martens is most strongly associated with typography: He even developed his home country’s gold-standard master’s degree program focusing on the discipline. But Martens isn’t just a serifs-and-kerning guy: He works across video, installation and sculpture, too, having spent nearly 60 years developing a practice that reflects his persistent inquisitiveness…


…there are a few of these cards that I found in the same place. It’s a ‘specification card’ for income and expenditure. It makes me think of my father, who entered his costs into a similar ledger book every day. The card shows formal columns in combination with human handwriting. The print on it is very simple, just one metal shape repeated. I found that piece a while ago; it also has a kind of ‘list’ character, but from a different world than what’s in the card itself. The print was motivated by my curiosity to see the two things together…

on the eve of his show in new york karel martens talks about his work and the process involved


…the white on the right-hand circle is printed perhaps seven times, until it gets really white. And the blue is printed with a white on top of it, but that looks gray, because it’s only overprinted two times. In offset printing, this effect is almost impossible, but you can do it in letterpress if you repeat it many times using opaque ink. It was my intention to take the closed yellow circle and make an opening in it. By overprinting the white ink, it becomes the same ‘color temperature’ as the background, matching the white color of the card. And then the yellow dot pops out — a surprise that you can’t plan for. Perhaps this is the best motivation to make work…

m / 09-08-2016 12:16 - tags: , , , , ,  

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