I have a new exhibition at Bank Square Coffee House in my hometown of Beacon, NY, and it will be on display until the beginning of January 2016. It consists of 11 large prints sized at 24” x 32” and mounted on gatorfoam board. Because there’s no glass on the prints, it gives them a depth and richness that I love, and it’s my favorite way of displaying my work when I don’t intend to sell the actual pieces-I take custom orders for anyone that is interested in buying.
There’s something special about holding a print in your hands that makes it feel organic and natural. That’s the same effect I want to achieve on the wall, and I think it works great.
I printed most of the images on Canson Infinity Printmaking Rag (formerly known as BFK Rives.) I also printed a few on Canson Platine Fibre Rag for the extra dmax it provides. (Dmax is a measure of black density, which affects contrast.)
My long time favorite matte paper has been Rag Photographique. While I still love its smoothness and finish, I’ve been experimenting with Printmaking Rag and have come to appreciate its subtle surface texture.
It has a beautifully textured surface that is delicate, yet retains detail and contrast really well. It’s one of those things that is much easier to see and feel than describe in words. And when you feel the paper, it really projects that beautiful fine art aesthetic that I love about making prints in general. It lets you convey more that the sum of the pixels in the file; it brings the image to life.
Yes I’m a geek about fine art papers, but it’s the single most enjoyable part of printing for me. It makes me feel like a traditional craftsman, working with my hands, with physical materials. After spending so much time in the field looking and feeling nature, it’s nice to continue that in the studio and not let my photography become something I or others only experience on a computer screen.
I’ve explained and demonstrated the mounting process before, and even made a video about it. Here are a few images of my son and I getting the prints ready for the exhibition.
I am always grateful for the opportunity to have my work displayed in galleries and art fairs, but some of my favorite venues are coffee shops. There’s a social aspect to it that makes me feel more in touch with the local community I call home, and it’s cool to see people enjoying themselves and looking at the prints without any pretenses about art.
I make images because I want them to have meaning for myself and for others. And that happens best when people can see them in places they feel comfortable in. Home is ideal of course, and that’s why people buy prints.
But any opportunity to share your work in a way that adds value to the artist and the viewer is a win-win for me.