Join us for his artist reception on Thursday, September 5th from 6 — 8pm to get to know the artist while enjoying complimentary chips and salsa courtesy of the Cup Cafe. Julius’ artwork will be available for viewing and purchase in the Hotel Congress lobby starting September 5th.
Color and detail often help to convey the emotional impact of a scene or a person. Using this century-old method of printing has forced me to strip away those aspects of an image, and to distill it down to a few crude shades of cyan. I have found that the results say just as much, if not more, than the kinds of images I am used to producing, and I’m grateful to be able to share them at Hotel Congress
These works are of people and places that I have come across in Tucson and the surrounding lands. Each of these images stuck in my mind for some reason. Some have tumbled around in it for years now, and it feels good to make them exist on these large pieces of watercolor paper. They are printed in cyanotype – a photochemical method developed in the mid-1800’s. By printing this way, with no colors, no fine tones, on this rough surface with a chemical reaction powered by naked sunlight, I feel that I’m forced to cast away many elements of a photograph. What remains is simple, and I feel conveys the emotion of the scene with no ornamentation – just a mood, maybe an expression, or a smirk or a wink or a sense of awe and comforting smallness.
About this process: Cyanotype was invented in the mid-1800s and pioneered by Anna Atkins, who used the technique to produce breathtaking photograms of algeas. There have been almost no changes in the methods or chemistry of the process since then, which consists of a mixture of sodium ferrocyanide and ferric ammonium sulfate. When these chemicals are combined and exposed to UV light, they form the pigment known as “prussian blue.” Because of this reaction, images can be made by making it occur within the fibers of a piece of paper. Objects can be overlaid directly on top of the sensitized paper, or, as in the case with the works here, a negative can be printed and “transferred” to the paper using sunlight or a UV lamp.
Some details: Each piece is printed either on Arches Grain Satiné, Arches Grain Fin, BFK Rives Printmaking Paper, or vellum. Regarding framing: these frames are not factored into the prices and are merely a method for display, presentation, and transportation.They are not sealed and may not be of professional quality. That being said, each one is mounted and framed carefully using 100% archival materials and can be easily removed from their mounts without damaging the prints. Display in a home for a few years should be fine, but they will slowly accumulate dust and should be re-framed eventually. Regarding care: Cyanotypes are extraordinarily archival, without exhibiting signs of deterioration for at least 200 years. This being said – they may temporarily fade if exposed to too much direct sunlight. If this occurs, simply store them in a dark place for a few days and the color will return to normal.