New Header Image. Something a bit simpler.

Yes, you noticed. I changed the picture at the top of the page. I liked the old one, but it’s more a collection of image fragments than anything, and I thought I’d like to put a picture at the top, however goofy, so it looks like a real person lives here. If the old one was a hodgepodge, you’re now treated to a different kind of excess. I was playing with Photoshop all day yesterday, making surfaces rise, fall, and rumple. On the whole, it’s not what I’d intended, and it will change in days to come, but how about let’s just put it up for now. Stuck up on the refrigerator until the next version emerges. The frantic reality of life as a daddy has me working digitally much more than I’m making prints & drawings lately, so perhaps it’s more honest to have a summary image that reflects the tools I’m actually using right now. Inky printmaking hands again someday soon, but for now, this. If you’re a big fan of the old header, here you go: (see below). Click on it to see it full-sized, and you can pretend it never left. The Joe Hill of  blog headers.

A collage of fragments from Eric Waldemar's prints and ink drawings.

Space churns, Time tumbles.

"Far from Home" etching/monoprint- Forlorn man in spacesuit with wrench beside tree. Eric WaldemarAs if these images  in Odin-Odeon (September 2-October 8 at RMCAD) weren’t hard enough to decipher, here’s a movie that makes several of them into a squishy, churning mass. All of the prints in the movies are made on the same etched plate, though you might not be able to guess that at a glance by looking at them side by side. The etched tones on the plates create a pull toward certain shapes, gestures and patterns, and the animation takes advantage of that common thread.

"End of Empire" - Etching/Monoprint by Eric Waldemar If you haven’t seen the show yet, come by, and if you’re reading this before Friday, September 10th, come by between 5 and 8 for the opening reception. All the info you need about Odin-Odeon, as well as several images, directions, etc., can be found here (same link as above). Of course, get in touch if you have any questions or thoughts.

Odin & Yggdrasil: Previews of “Odin-Odeon” at RMCAD

A few new items as the exhibition at RMCAD approaches (reception on September 10th). If you’re not already aware of the blessed event, you’ll find all the info you need on this page, as well as several images.

On your left, a 2 minute trailer for the show, a strange reading of Odin’s time hanging upside down from the great tree, with moving abstraction made entirely from the etchings and monotypes that will appear in Odin-Odeon. There’s a video component to this exhibition, but it will be very different from this. You’ll see.

Also, here’s a preview of the show from Anselm Etting, who is very kind indeed:

Monoprint/Etching by Eric Waldemar: "The Reward of Discipline" from Odin-Odeon“At first, the etchings & monoprints in Eric Waldemar’s Odin-Odeon seem shamelessly archaic. A warm palette of earth tones and a concern with the rhythmic mystery of the agile brush reflect a long engagement with the drawings of Rembrandt, Hakuin and Homare Ikeda. Given time, these tiny images unfold in the mind, often with several simultaneous layers of imagery. They feel weighty at first glance, but after close attention, many are subtly hilarious, especially in combination with Waldemar’s wry, deadpan titles.
Then there are the movies, displayed on a tiny screen to force close attention. A dinosaur shuffles along in a cloud of dust. Etching/monotype by Eric Waldemar.These intricate rhythmic abstractions use this series of prints as source material, transforming their already ambiguous subject matter into a trembling, bewildering dream. Tiny jewels of abstract cinema, they also suggest an approach to the accompanying prints, to which the viewer returns with a fresh eye for close detail and half-hidden treasure. “

Gosh. Thanks. See you there, everyone, and if you’re too far away to make it, I’ll try to keep adding images to the Odin-Odeon page, so you can attend vicariously. Either way, thanks for having a look. Leave a comment on the site if you end up having a thought. Thanks.

Krazy Kat Desert Justice: Is Humor Art, and Art, Humor?

Krazy Kat Desert Justice, monoprint by Eric Waldemar 2010

Maybe it’s the teapot mesa horizon – I’m not sure what else ties this monoprint (mine) to George Herriman’s Krazy Kat, one of the oddest and greatest comic strips in history.  It’s what I thought of right away when it came out of the etching press, though, so I’ll let the inexplicable title stand, even though I don’t quite get it myself. I still see it, but I don’t know why I have the association. In any case, a few words on the Kat, and some loosely related thoughts she brings to mind:

Cartoon: Mouse throws brick at cat from picture frame.

(Right: One panel, c.1937) If it weren’t for Herriman’s deft touch with ink and balance, the strip’s humor, erudition, bizarre ethics, and anti-romantic antics would fall flat, I imagine. If Krazy Kat‘s straight-faced wit doesn’t connect with you, there’s no way to explain “what’s so funny.” This is generally true of art that’s worth spending some time with, maybe.  The moment of getting a joke is the whole point – the logic suddenly flips, pivoting on a word with two meanings, or something like that. If it’s explained, it’s ruined. Forever. With pictures, that moment is harder to describe,especially if there’s no joke. The mind is somehow diverted into an unfamiliar route. Read more

Mage’s Boat

When someone is sent to find the old man, all else has already failed. If he’s not out in the boat, he’s out walking, some way off the paths, in-turned, but aware of each sound and scent, and each combination. He’s always just wrapping up as you arrive, tucking bundles in his bag. What do you need then? Cordial, willing he is, and not surprised to see you.

End of Empire

"End of Empire" - Etching/Monoprint by Eric Waldemar

Some kind of Gene Wolfe parlor of tarnished escutcheons, faceless poise, and rotting velvet, with remnants of ruling families maintaining the procedures of dignity as any trace of distinction and inbred purpose fade. Ancestral identity becomes mere cashflow and costume. Vast, dim, cobwebbed atriums (atria?), occasional letters to sign, from estate lawyers. Biscuits and the sherry bottle. Cuddling with grandfather’s trophies and certificates.

Odin-Odeon Cinema Fragment One

Several monoprints from the same intaglio plate, prints and cinema by Eric Waldemar

Several monoprints from the same intaglio plate.

Each Wednesday (Woden’s Day) night this Spring, when possible, I went over to the studio to make prints. I had several etched plates lying about, each of them suggestive of image, while not quite readable without interpretation. The ways in which an intaglio plate can be inked, and stroked into art, are infinite. Each of these shuffling images is a “reading” of the same etched printing plate. You can see the traces of a common origin, if you care to pause and look for a moment. If this is no interest, if this kind of transformation isn’t your cup of tea, well, then, by all means, you’d best move along and not waste any more of your time here.

Odin/Odeon: Monoprints and Movies at Rude Gallery

Here’s some text I put together for the show at Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design, which opens, I believe, on the second of September, a Thursday. (Be there around 7 or 8 or later.) There’s a longer version that mentions Nickel-Odeons, refers to my Wednesday (Woden’s Day) night printmaking sessions, and so on, but this is the concise version. Thought I might as well post it for you. Hope it sounds inviting. It certainly sounds grandiose and pompous. Part of the fun. Grandiose, yes, but all true. 

DustBowl-EricWaldemar_monoprint_detail.jpgIn Odin/Odeon, Eric Waldemar takes a maximalist approach to a small installation space, assembling a piece of “visual chamber music” that combines an intricate arrangement of monoprints with tiny abstract video work. In ancient Greece, an Odeon was a type of small theater, designed for more intimate productions. The Norse god Odin, as the tale goes, hung upside down from the World Tree for nine days until vision and knowledge arose in his mind. In Waldemar’s studio, imagery is invited, awaited, then shaped as it emerges. In an art world that favors shrewd, spare concept and wry sampling, he persists in affirming the mysteries and depths of an open, exploratory work process that hangs between picture and nameless form.