Mandy Harvey multi-block woodcut

"Mandy"

Multi-block woodcut on Thai kozo | 2020

Brief: Using multi-block woodcut, create a propaganda-style poster (you pick the era/style and message) with an inspirational figure in your life.

This piece holds a special place in my heart, both  in terms of a milestone in my printmaking career and the theme of the piece. This was my first multi-block, which is an exercise in subtraction as you print the first completed block onto the next one, then carve away all unnecessary content for that layer. In this case, I had three: the frame (blue); the upper text field (orange); and the portrait and lower text field (black). These are then carefully registered so everything lines up, and the print comes together in layers. In addition to expanding my technical repertoire, this is where I really started trying to translate my love of German Expressionism into my work. Die Brücke, a German Expressionist collective, emphasized the blocky text, two-tone fields, and harsh line work. This creates a geometric yet grungy feel.

Thematically, I knew I wanted to showcase Mandy Harvey, a dear friend and role model of mine. In her viral America’s Got Talent audition, she says this line in reference to her losing her hearing at age 18. It has deeply resonated with me for years, in regards to my own physical and mental struggles; after all, it’s simply a more eloquent way to say I exist purely out of spite.