Posted Tuesday, Aug 27th 2013 @ 9:03

I've been thinking a lot about bread lately.

I tend to resist political conversations, because I have become increasingly neutral in that respect; and because my political alignments are less important to me than my interpersonal relationships. So when it comes to the discussion of art movements, I am oft more interested in the art itself than the motives. But lately, my art practice has seen a rise in ethical engagement; and I've found myself caring a lot more when the art in question bears the weight of the socio-political framework from which it came.

The movements that have intrigued me thus far have been associated with breaking from the commodification of art. DIY ethics, self-publication, and open source have all become major contributors to the underlying motivations behind my practice; and in many ways, to the art itself.

But I'm still finding my style.

And lately, two movements in particular have been informing my work tremendously: Bread and Puppet Theatre and the Fluxus Movement. Both movements have foundations in non-commercialism, community building, and DIY; and, as you have already posited, that's my jam.

Bread and Puppet derives a lot of its discourse from a single notion: that art should be as essential and accessible to us as bread. In particular, this document, written the year I was born, has been extremely influential to me, and I have made it a paramount goal of mine to produce cheap art and enable others to do the same.

Fluxus, a movement championed by George Maciunas in the 1960s and 70s, calls upon artists to create affordable, reproducible works that challenge the established societal structure of fine art as a gatekeeper to socio-economic status. His work inspired printmakers and various other artists to challenge traditionalist definitions of art in true dadaist fashion; a movement rife with audacious humor and provocative eccentricity.

So, yeah. These movements are informing my impetus for artmaking. You know how I do. But, it's also worth noting that they are informing my developing style as an illustrator. I have always found a lot of beauty in single-tone printing. From the etched plate prints of Hogarth in the late 1700s to the halftone works of Herge at the turn of the 20th century, I have always admired artists able to create depth and complexity from simple means. Both Fluxus and Bread and Puppet contributed to a resurgence this aesthetic, and I have found great inspiration in printworks associated with these movements.

I want to explore new avenues of printmaking. I want to use cheap materials and processes to create deceptively simple works with underlying veins of depth and complexity. I want to do more with less.

I think my work on Scout is a good place to start.

xoxo (CW) Alex