Mask 2 Yellow Christ

Tried another mask- this time I was inspired by Gauguin’s Yellow Christ, which is one of my favourite paintings, and I thought it a very clear image to work with. I added curves and indentations to the body shape to suggest brokenness as there was only the outline to work with. In order to have a single negative mask, I cut through the feet to create an overlap that would keep the mask joined as one piece.

I wasn’t sure what kind of paper to use as the mask. I had tried copier paper, but it tended to curl as it was laid down. Firmer cartridge paper made too big a white area around the image. I also tried tracing paper as a thinner version than cartridge, yet firmer than copier paper.

Although the positive mask reached the borders of the printing area, I was still not successful in placing it accurately the first time. I did however succeed in making a dark, solid printed background in dark blue. The yellow, though, missed the mark, and was also very weakly printed. Nevertheless, it’s possible to get mileage out of this happy accident, by reflecting on the nature of the body/ soul dichotomy, the material and immaterial…. Personally I find it an effective image.

Yellow Christ

The second version on copier paper, using purple in the background, was better aligned but the background was speckled, and there was again a large white area.

Yellow Christ 2

As mentioned though, I quite like the misalignment on these prints, as they suggest a separation of body and spirit.

The ghost print is attractive as it looks like a surge of energy is going through the body.

Ghost Print Yellow Christ 2

I started to wonder about my rolling technique as I couldn’t seem to get a thick surface of ink on the printing plate, so I tried taking a print directly off the inking plate. This was better. The purple positive shape is incomplete as I took it off a patch of colour on the inking plate, but I like this one too, as it’s possible to “read” the incompleteness as a metaphor for transcendendance, or reminiscent of the Turin shroud. There’s a rather fortuitous accident too, where a speck of dust ahs landed just about thte position of the heart, showing as if it’s a target.

Incomplete

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