Jonathan Fabricant is an artist who lives and works in Brooklyn NY.
This limited edition prints are hand carved and printed by the artist on archival Japanese papers.
Linoleum Relief Prints and Drawings
By Jonathan Fabricant
The Relief prints and drawings I am presenting are based on my observations of the Brooklyn Street scene where I live. In my prints I try to unify the various human and architectural energies of the city.
Part of the excitement of the city is that something could happen at any moment, there are so many people and activities sharing the space, so much friction and movement. I am drawn to my Brooklyn neighborhood because it is lively, but isn’t so frenetic as to be dehumanizing. There is a little more space, a more relaxed pace, the people inhabit the space a little less anonymously than in busier places in the city. I also like the scale of the architecture of my Brooklyn surrounds, it can coexist with the human players and not overwhelm them.
My intention is to straddle the edge between where something may or may not be about to happen, or where what is happening is visual and not necessarily about the intentions of the humans actors. But conversely I want the people in my pictures to be real not just mannequins, I like to look at people I don’t know and wonder about their lives.
In my prints all the urban actors are contained and brought together by the structure and design of their environment. I try to juxtapose some of these human attitudes to one and other and to their surroundings (buildings and architecture can often be seen to have personalities and attitudes in themselves). Sometimes the people in my pictures seem to have a connection or awareness of each other but at other times they are connected only by sharing a public space.
The medium of relief printing is well suited for these images as it has a blunt graphic look that fits the feeling of the city well. It is a historic technique that when used with a contemporary eye reflects the history embedded in the modern urban landscape.
I start with photos and sketches and often collage them together to create my compositions. Then I make a drawing usually in graphite. The drawing serves as a guide for the creation of the blocks for printing. I like all these stages and working with an image over time. Drawing is a plastic process, I can quickly add and take away. Relief printmaking is clunkier and more military, once you cut away an area it is gone, you have fewer moves before you have reached the end game, it forces me to focus and commit, all of the good and bad choices are permanent.