Lester Dore Madison, Wisconsin USA
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Artist's comments ...
Name: Lester Doré
Location: Madison Wisconsin
Print Title: Petroleum Pieta
Paper Dimension: 10x13 inches
Image Dimension: 9x11 3/4 inches
Ink: black rubber-based ink for relief printing
Paper: Rives BFK
Comments: An image similar to this one has been haunting me since the beginning of the Iraq War. I envisioned a mother finding her son on a battlefield south of Baghdad strewn with bodies and ruined equipment of war. The son's body was burned almost beyond recognition by napalm, and the killing field was dotted with red wild tulips. Almost six years later the image has morphed into what you see on the print--the mother and son have become calaveras, and the references to a specific war have disappeared. It now signifies the damage that has been done to the cradle of civilization and the surrounding nations in the name of cheap oil for the West. It was first a pen and ink drawing, then transferred photographically to a silk screen printed as a poster, and now, finally, a wood cut. I printed an inkjet image on to nepalese paper and pasted it face down to block and commenced cutting. Then I tore the rotator cuff of my right (dominant side) shoulder and dithered for a couple of weeks. Finally accepting the inevitable and knowing that I wouldn't be hand printing this one, I finished the cutting and hired Kate Clapper of Flying Rabbit Studios here in Madison to print the block on her vintage Vandercook printing press. She pulled a proof for me, I cleaned up the block, and she printed a beautiful edition. Just before mailing I discovered that I had miscalulated the paper size and the placement of the image, hence, it ended up as a 9x12 inch image on a 10x13 sheet with rather narrow margins; a pity because I lost the deckle edge. But its the best print I've done this year. Joining these exchanges keeps me working and learning, and who knows--the next print might be in the hands of the coordinator before the deadline!