So I finished my internship with Lou a couple weeks ago and I’ve had time to reflect with my time with him. Not only did I learn almost everything about silkscreen printing but our conversations about art really opened my mind. When I would be printing Lou would occasionally wander by and critique my work and sometimes it would turn into a deep conversation about art. The conversations reminded me of our discussions that occurred in Art315.
Art isn’t so much mastering the technical. It’s being able to produce something surprising, new and interesting. Art should be exciting. The illusion of being perfect so even if it isn’t technically perfect, it’s about being exciting and surprising.
It’s amazing to watch Lou’s creative process. I came in one morning and there were two new prints on the drying rack, which looked new and different. Later that morning he added white to them and they change completely. Sometimes they change in a good way and other times you know he needs to keep going. The process of Lou creating his monoprints, layering ink like Pollock, can take days or weeks. He’s always interested in the opinions of others to help him make decisions on the direction of his prints.
Lou admitted to me that he enjoys creating abstract art more than representational. It’s more enjoyable to him but there’s still something beautiful about the representational. He thought he was sending me mixed messages about abstract vs representational since he was teaching me how to render perfectly while he was creating abstractly. I think there’s a progression with an artist that starts with the mastering of the representational and over time it evolves to abstract. Mastering the medium and being able to render something perfectly makes the artist and the art legit. There’s something the artist has to achieve to release the creativeness for the abstract. Abstract is creating from the mind and emotion. There is a progression of conquerings an artist has to go through. Perfect rendering that slowly loosens up and breaks down to abstraction.
I have found that silkscreen printing is an art for the engineers. It takes more planning, organization and sometimes math. Technical skills need to be acquired. Patience and perfection are required. One cannot get lazy or sloppy (or it defeats the whole purpose of an edition). With the rigidity of this art, it’s surprising how loose and painterly/drawerly you can make a print. Some really beautiful things can start to happen. Its far from the graphic screenprint posters your used to.
“I’m fiercely proud of you for doing this… we’re goning to be friends for life” Lou