2009 YES/NO STENCILS
My early work was influenced by graffiti, sticker tagging, agitprop and
propaganda posters from the mid 20th century. Back then, I was interested
in the wood block prints produced during China's Cultural Revolution, in
which symbolic colours and simplified shapes reinforced short, directive
slogans. Ease of printing meant that these were among the most intensively
mass-produced, widely distributed art of the pre-web 20th century: the
objective was maximum saturation of the imagery and the propagandist
ideas represented in it.
Given these influences, the obvious medium for my serial works was stencil.
This gave me pause: conventional stenciling is crude and I didn't want to end
up with a pastiche of bad street art. I experimented with different methods
and materials. I wanted the finish to be beautiful and seductive, referring to
ideas in my other hard-edged work. It also had to be durable. The final result
is hand-stencilled in high gloss enamel on 100% cotton, museum-quality,
archival mat board – the stark contrast of shiney paint on flat, unprepared
board is stunning.
Like agitprop street posters, different versions of the same – or opposite –
messages can be hung together.