CHRIS D'ANGELO BLOCK PRINTS
May 30 - June 8
OPUS Projects is pleased to present Chris D’Angelo’s first solo exhibition, Block Prints, at OPUS Projects, 526 West 26th Street #705, May 30 – June 8, 2013. Gallery hours are Friday and Saturday, 12-6 pm, and by appointment. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, May 30, 6-8pm.
Chris D’Angelo’s Block Prints explores the terrain of caricature as political satire and social commentary through wood cut prints. Through a process of critical selection, archival photographs of pre and post war subjects, D’Angelo’s treatment of photographic materials walks the line between photos as reference and source material. The selected images are drawn onto a pine block and gouged using printmaking cutters and utility blades. Japanese rice paper is burnished in order to transfer the inked block surface into the final portrait narratives.
Dissatisfied with the dominant abstract expressionism of his art school training, an exhibition of Antonio Frasconi and Leonard Baskin woodblock prints triggered D’Angelo’s passion for the tangibility of woodcut printmaking. The narratives implicit in the faces depicted in current and past international newspaper clippings inspired Chris to develop an expressive visual language to capture the shock and trauma visible in the eyes and facial details of his chosen subjects. His inquiry into political victims and oppressors exposed “the absurdity of their situations, like the Gulag photos of people imprisoned because of Stalin’s paranoia. The madness of it is overwhelming.”
Extending the traditions of Goya and John Tenniel, incorporating political caricature and topical elements, D’Angelo plays with the idea that the serious can be vaguely humorous and that the horrible can be an intellectual puzzle about the potentials for monstrous human behavior.