Metaphoric Vinyl

Ten invited artists were asked to produce work using a Roland Camm-1 Servo, a machine commonly used in the sign making industry. Though the participants had certain things in common as contemporary artists and printmakers, the only specific thing they share is that they have all utilized this versatile industrial instrument to produce beautiful and imaginative new artwork and explore its possibilities and limitations.

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All the participants have tried various methods and cross uses for the equipment and material while reconsidering the notion of digital versus analog process. Because the method of production is specified, the theme then becomes one of collaboration and shared process within a certain range of commercial print technology. After scanning an initial idea, designs are vectorized (turned into discrete linework) and then manipulated via Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. They are then cut by “Roland” into a vast array of vinyl films and heat transfer materials. The results vary to the whims of each individual artist, but the work all plays with exploration of the possibilities of a newly accessible medium.

Some of the artists were chosen because they have had significant design experience and the rest have an experimental approach to all media with a specific focus on printmaking. The gallery then became the site for exploration, intervention and installation. Nick Cassway’s brush and ink drawn portraiture was transferred into large-scale images documenting his cohorts in different situations as they blow him a kiss or flip him the bird. Chris Vecchio re-engineered vinyl to make it conductive for electricity. Candy Depew’s work astounded with her decorative bent, a perfect match for this process. Peter Duffin’s exploration of cryptic graphic language and wood patterned vinyl film made an extreme visual dichotomy. Sam Larson experimented with language and a 3-dimensional application of cut vinyl and Alyse Bernstein extended her printmaking vocabulary into new realms using heat transferred flocking. Matt Brownlee’s tattoo influenced designs were reworked for applications with the material and process while Matthew Pruden did a new take with anamorphic imagery. Nic Coviello continued his exploration of botanicals through a highly charged graphic application and James Rosenthal took the theme literally by forfeiting some of his record collection and writing with plastic on plastic.