Artist, printmaker, screen printer, designer and friend Jamaal Barber participated in SGC International's PRINT BIG 2017 representing Printmakers Atlanta. Jamaal hand curved a detailed 4ft x 8ft wood block from MDF. Now, you don't have to know anything about wood cut relief printing, all you need to know is that 4'x8' is huge! So big in fact, that the print had to pressed with a stream roller.
Art getting pressed by the stream roller.
Jamaal in the zone.
Jamaal asked to me help assist him during the print. I just finished all the art for FDA's Past, Future Show and I needed a change of pace. Jamaal's energy is always good and he's a fellow Black printmaker, so of course I was honored to help.
The block took a lot of ink.
It was cold in Atlanta all week and the day of the print was the first day the weather was nice. It was good to spend some time outdoors and connect with other artists. The beauty of printmaking is that it is extremely collaborate.
"Once it was pressed he wasn’t concerned about rubbing over the print, trying to make it prefect. “I’m going to let it do what it do”, he said."
No art medium brings artist together more than printmaking, artist Grace Kisa and Maurice Evans also came out to help Jamaal and we all engaged in good conversation about this crazy art world while we waited on Jamaal's time to get his art stream rolled.
Artist Grace Kisa and Maurice Evans also came out to help Jamaal.
Jamaal pressed 5 pieces of art on fabric and the fifth one had a floral pattern on it. It was refreshing to see that Jamaal’s not to anal about the process and that he prefers to let a little randomness play a part in the art. Once it was pressed he wasn’t concerned about rubbing over the print, trying to make it prefect. “I’m going to let it do what it do”, he said. The prints turned out amazing as well as the other artists in the event. Georgia State University also hah several print making exhibits and workshops going on during the event. As a printmaker I'm so glad I was able to attend the event and enhance my perspective as an printmaker.
But my highlight of the day was a random moment that I'm trilled that I was able to capture of film. A few Georgia State workers were viewing the art and Jamaal's art spoke to them. An older Black gentleman asked Jamaal to explain his art. Jamaal's explanation of his art made me appreciate it and him even more than I already did. This is exactly why we do what we do. Listen to Jamaal's explanation in his own words in the video below. POWERFUL.
Check out his work at Zucot Gallery