The first in this series entitled "Inappropriation" was created at the University of Nebraska Lincoln with Karen Kunc and her students. The next two were subsequently created with the help of two of those graduate students, Brian Curling and Kyle Olson.
Much of my work involves appropriation. These woodcuts utilize images culled from didactic texts designed in the 1920s to indoctrinate American youth with certain standards for hygiene and behavior. Though visually simplistic and rendered seemingly innocuous by their aura of nostalgia, many of these found images are laden with powerful, albeit subtle, signifiers promoting and enforcing homogeneity. These editions were hand printed utilizing the traditional Japanese method of woodblock printing by which water-based pigment is applied by brush, and the ink transferred to the paper by hand. This method yields an edition that is less uniform than brayer-inked and press-printed woodblocks. During the printing and while deciding which prints made it into the edition, I struggled to hold in check my own instincts toward the valuation of uniformity over idiosyncrasy despite my self-proclaimed preference for the latter.