Printing Portland

By IAN PAIGE  |  February 18, 2009

Shepard Fairey's ubiquitous Obama posters are evidence that the printmaking medium still holds sway with the minds of the masses. In an era of computer-generated images and ultra-realistic photo manipulation, the simple iterations of color and shape create a kind humanist iconography that pixels can't hope to achieve. The screen print has often become the medium of social movement, whether in Situationist Paris or starry-eyed San Francisco. What Fairey's work reminds us, along with the resurgence of homegrown posters in our own city, is that the immediacy of the print can be relevant. Even just a few years ago, the mention of printmaking usually only conjured up images of Che Guevara T-shirts or antique liqueur advertisements. Today, the medium has returned from its relegated corner to enter the fervent dialogue sparked by an Obama T-shirt worn a week before the election. The print aesthetic is back to meaning now.

Ian Paige can be reached atianpaige@gmail.com.

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  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Barack Obama, Che Guevara, Visual Arts,  More more >
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