Title of Arwork / Year
Larry Harvey / Screenprinting Class 2019
What's your background?
In the early 90’s I earned a BA Art, SFSU with an emphasis in printmaking. By the time I graduated I had changed my emphasis no less than 7 times including photography, textiles, ceramics, glass. I’ve been a graphic & web designer since the early 2000’s.
Tell us about the concept and inspiration for this piece.
This class was a one time offering during burn weekend of 2019. We decided we wanted a burn centric activity for cool kids who weren’t on playa. My intent was to have an homage to Larry Harvey in a bold graphic style. My work extensively leans on collage to communicate a message. The final piece is composed from 3 different images.
What tools and software did you use?
Screen printing, Photoshop, Illustrator
What was the step-by-step process involved in building this project?
I think for this project we may have created a Facebook event which got us 5 students a week or two prior to the event. During that time I developed 3 Burning Man focused designs of which LH was selected.
I found several portraits of LH and realized I had echoes in shape and composition between the two images. Of course I wanted to play off that! The one that had better exposure, lighting, and contrast would be my “front image” (more on that in a bit). My “back image” would be a flat color when printed, therefore it was reduced down to a silhouette of LH and set aside. To develop the detailed image, I used photoshop to reduce the photo to black and white after bumping up the contrast. Gradients and shading don’t register as such with the screen printing process. Screen printing is a binary printing process, so you can't use a photo but a halftone image works quite nicely.
Once I had my halftone in my library, I could go back to illustrator to create two layers of art–one for each screen and color. As I played with the images / layers, I found flipping the halftones in different scales played nicely. However, the layer in the background needed something to elevate to a St. Larry. I had an image of Ganesh with a great halo which I lifted for LH. Once I had my fidgeting down and things looked good, I could add my registration marks on a third layer. Next step, print black & white transparencies to burn the screen.
Biggest headache creating the project
Having to pick which of the 3 images to use
Greatest triumph with the project
Unique screen printed shirts and broadened burner friend circle. For colab it was the hook that got me to lead the printmaking department. This and other classes helped me formalize a structure for a broader core curriculum to bring students in to learn the entire process of screen printing.
Would you do it again?
When can I?
Are there new projects in the works?
I’ve recently started exploring the possibility of a series of political art quilts. I’m honing sewing skills and really want to do some photo based mixed media cyanotypes.
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