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Showing posts from January, 2013

Six of the Best, Part 23: Darryll Schiff

Part 23 of an interview series in which I invite artists to respond to six questions about art, process, and creativity  (previous interviews: 123456789101112,13,1415161718192021, 22). Darryll Schiff is a Chicago-based photographer whom I met recently during the online webinar series run by Paul Klein (Klein Artist Works). I saw Darryll's large-scale digital photos in his studio last week, and was bowled over by their use of light and scale. You can see more of his work and read about his process on his new blog.


Philip Hartigan: What medium/media do you chiefly use, and why?

Darryll Schiff: When I was a little kid I used to go to Saturday classes at the Art Institute. I could draw ok, kind of paint and did some pretty good sculptures. But later on the camera became my tool of choice. I think this is due to a few things. I certainly have always felt comfortable with the technology and at some point I realized the idea is to let the tool restrict …

Antonio Frasconi: 1919-2013

I just learned of the death on January 8th of Antonio Frasconi, the great printmaker from Uruguay who lived and worked most of his life in the USA. Printmaking is such a minority sport in the art world that his passing will go largely unnoticed, compared to the death of a Basquiat or a Warhol. But for those who are printmakers or those who appreciate the medium, Frasconi is known as one of the undisputed masters of the last 100 years, possibly one of the greatest exponents ever of the woodcut medium.


He came directly from the Latin American tradition of the black and white block print, a medium chosen particularly by Mexican political artists for its easy readability, its directness, and its eye-catching boldness of design. Frasconi's own style also has that kind of angular, spiky-edged quality that we think of as part of 1950s design, too.



I first became aware of Frasconi's work when I began to study printmaking in the mid-1990s. A book of his prints (showing some of his man…

A New Year

It was the best of the times...

I was back in my studio on Friday for the first time in 2013. It was also, maybe, the last time that I will do much work there, as I am moving studios at the end of January, to a place that's closer to where I live in Chicago. Next time I am in the current studio, I will start boxing things up and getting ready to move.

So today I took  some of the 'coal circle' panels and canvasses outside and sanded them down for a while:


And then I dragged a few semi-opaque layers of matte medium across them, as follows:


That piece of mat board standing up in the background is what I'm using for a squeegee:


Note the plastic sheet: very important for catching all the medium/paint that slops over the sides of the pictures.