CRE Fellow 2018: Josias Figueirido
For me printmaking has performed various functions at different moments in my art practice. In spite of being a highly technical process, I first became excited about etching because of its unexpected results. Not being able to predict with total certainty the types of marks I was going to get once I pulled the paper from the matrix was both nerve-racking and exciting. There was also something very truthful about the process. The print always told me what was really happening on the surface of my plate; no scratch was hidden. Over the last three years, the reproduction of multiple images ceased to be an important part of my process, and I began to approach printmaking as a process of testing and generating ideas.
During my fellowship at Second State Press, I focused on constructing invented narratives that emerged from merging different images. I combined and overlapped various printmaking methods, such as screen-printing, woodblocks, and monotypes. Although each print was unique, I used the same images repeatedly, repositioning them in order to come up with different spatial organizations and new narratives. From the beginning my project was constantly changing, to the point that I ended up making works that were quite different from what I originally intended. After the fellowship, I continued to work on the prints by collaging photographs, rhinestones, glitter, and other objects on them. I also cut through the prints in order to form patterns, and I continued to develop the narratives by painting on them. The final mixed media works speak of topics related to information overload and the struggles we face in separating digital and real spaces when forming an understanding of reality.
The CRE Fellowship at SSP gave me not only the time, space, facilities, and support to develop my practice, but also the possibility to try out ideas. I was able to allow my project to break down at any moment if it needed to, without feeling the pressure of working toward having a coherent and resolved project at the end of the fellowship. I find times of exploration such as this to be very meaningful and necessary in order to push my own practice further.