woodblock prints

Posts tagged
with woodblock prints



Art Design

A Project to Immortalize David Bowie in Traditional Woodblock Prints

June 7, 2018

Johnny Strategy

David Bowie, who passed away in 2016, had a very special connection – some may even call it a “love affair” – with Japan. He originally developed his affinity after taking an interest in Kabuki and was heavily influenced by the exaggerated gestures, costumes and make-up. He later went on to work with fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto on many iconic costumes, as well as with musicians like Tomoyasu Hotei and the filmmaker Nagisa Oshima. In a sense, the love affair has come full circle and now a project has been announced to immortalize David Bowie in the form of ukiyo-e woodblock prints that depict Bowie in elements of kabuki.

Two unique prints were announced last month from Ukiyo-e Project, an organization that creates contemporary Ukiyo-e based on elements of pop culture. Each of the prints are inspired by iconic photo shoots of Bowie, which have been translated to woodblock print by ukiyo-e artist Masumi Ishikawa.

One of these is inspired by Brian Duffy’s photograph of a bare-chested Bowie with a red lightning bolt scrawled across his face the cover of “Aladdin Sane” (1973). For the ukiyo-e print, the artist imagines Bowie as Kidomaru, a fictitious snake charmer from the Kamakura period.

The second print was inspired by Terry O’Neill’s “Diamond Dogs” promotional photograph (1974) in which Bowie is posing with a large barking dog. For this ukiyo-e print the artist imagines Bowie as Takezawa Toji, a magician and entertainer who was often depicted by Utagawa Kuniyoshi.

The prints will be on display, and available for sale (priced at 100,000 yen) at the Marc Jacobs-owned BOOKMARC in Omotesando from June 23 – July 1, 2018. The final prints will be displayed alongside photos of David Bowie, as well as other materials that show the process of creating the woodblock prints. (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

left: David Bowie, Aladdin Sane, Eyes Open, 1973© Courtesy of the Duffy Archive | right: Terry O’Neill – David Bowie Diamond Dogs, 1974 © Courtesy Mouche Gallery

 

 



Art

A Tall Leafy Tree Grows in Tugboat Printshop’s New 4-Color Wood Block Print

April 4, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

In her newest artwork, Valerie Lueth has grown intricately intertwined roots and branches to form a 4-color woodblock print titled ‘BRANCHING.’ Lueth, who owns and operates Tugboat Printshop (previously) in Pittsburgh, hand-illustrated one key block and three additional color blocks to combine black, yellow, blue, and grey in the formation of the tree. To create the tree’s subtle shifts in tone and shape, Lueth first drew and carved the key block on 3/4 inch birch plywood. Next, she transferred the image via press onto the three color blocks, and hand-drew and carved each of the three color blocks. Finally, using very precise alignment, Lueth printed all four blocks sequentially on one sheet of paper to create the complete artwork.

The artist describes BRANCHING as “an image of generation and growth,” and it scales thirty inches tall and twelve inches wide. The print is currently available for pre-order on the Tugboat Printshop website. Lueth also shares her works in progress on Instagram.

 

 



Art History Illustration

Download More than 2,500 Images of Vibrant Japanese Woodblock Prints and Drawings From the Library of Congress

June 14, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Thanks to the Library of Congress, you can browse and download high-resolution copies of more than 2,500 Japanese woodblock prints and drawings from the library’s online collection. The prints, most of which are dated before the 20th-century, were amassed from a large group of collectors, including notable donors such as President William Howard Taft and Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Despite the diversity of genres and traditions represented by the library’s large collection, the most prolific works are ones created in the tradition of the Japanese art form of Ukiyo-e or Yokohama-e. Ukiyo-e was developed in the city of Edo (now Tokyo) between 1600 and 1868 during a relatively peaceful period. The subject and inspiration for many of the prints includes that of entertainment and leisure, such as scenes from kabuki theater and fashionable restaurants.

The style of Yokohama-e was built on methods of production from Ukiyo-e around the time that American naval officer Matthew Calbraith Perry (1794-1858) led an expedition to Japan in the mid-1850’s. New trade agreements between Japan and the West brought travers to the country, inspiring Japanese artists to capture tourists walking throughout the port city, and borrow images from Western newspapers.

You can see the entire collection of historic works on the Library of Congress’s website. (via Open Culture)

 

 



Art Illustration

Eve: A New Intergalactic Woodcut Print by Tugboat Printshop

May 24, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Eve is the newest multi-colored woodcut print from Valerie Lueth of Pittsburgh-based Tugboat Printshop (previously here and here). The limited edition print is created from layering four different blocks, each containing a separate color. Once combined, an orange and green hand is seen suspended in the cosmos, flowers and plants growing wildly from the extended limb. The print is currently available for pre-order, with an anticipated ship date of mid-June. You can learn more about the making of Eve, as well as order your own print, on Tugboat Printshop’s website.

 

 



Art Illustration

Tugboat Printshop’s Lush ‘Overlook’ Woodcut Print Rolls off the Press After 3 Years of Carving and Preparation

December 28, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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Three years in the making, we first teased this phenomenal new woodcut print titled Overlook from Valerie Lueth and Paul Roden of Tugboat Printshop (previously) back in 2014—the carving of a single woodblock was intriguing enough to warrant its own article. After thousands of hours of preparation, drawing, carving, testing, and printing, the completed color proof was finally revealed this week.

Overlook is a color woodblock print created from 5 plates including 4 color blocks (yellow, red, light blue, dark blue) that define areas of color in the image with a 5th block (black) on top called the key block. All the woodblocks are entirely different carvings on 3/4″ birch plywood that contain different information. As each is printed in succession on handmade kozo fiber paper, the colors merge to produce additional hues, highlights, shadows, and other details of the final print. The splendidly detailed 46″ x 30″ artwork depicts a mid-day scenic view of a mountain range surrounded by dense forests, groves, and sprawling vegetation in a myriad of colors.

The final limited edition of 100 prints will be completed early next month and are currently available for pre-order on Tugboat Printshop’s website. You can see of behind-the-scenes process photos and videos of Overlook on Flickr.

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Animation Art

Japanese Artist Places a Modern Spin on Centuries-Old Woodblock Prints Through Animated GIFs

August 31, 2015

Kate Sierzputowski

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A Japanese artist is placing a modern spin on a centuries-old technique, animating Japanese woodblock prints in the style typically reserved for TV show recaps and continuously looping memes. The artist, who who goes by Segawa thirty-seven, uses Adobe Photoshop and After Effects to alter the static images and inlay elements of sci-fi and modern culture—bringing in Segways and alien spaceships into the fixed landscapes-turned-gifs.

Other gifs produced by the artist are far more subtle, one in particular showing a crowded street of people lit by moonlight, their shadows traveling from the right to the left side of the screen as the moon travels through the sky. Another shows a scene of people gazing out the window as a high speed train endlessly rushes by.

You can see more of Segawa thirty-seven’s woodblock print animations on his Twitter(via Spoon & Tamago

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Art Illustration

Overlook: A New Woodcut Print from Tugboat Printshop

September 4, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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After two years of preparation and meticulous carving, “Overlook” is an upcoming woodcut print from the minds and hands of Paul Roden and Valerie Lueth of Pittsburgh-based Tugboat Printshop (previously). The duo make some of the most stunning limited edition woodcut prints around, having churned out a number of new pieces since we last checked in including Woodcut Valley, Community, and Desert Island. The final color print of Overlook (above is just the woodblock used for printing) will be 28″ x 46″ and is available for pre-order.