No Title IV
Multilayered photopolymer print
Paper: Hahnemühle hand paper 300 gr
Dimensions: 56 x 78 cm
Jean Nicolai - No Title IV
Artist Statement - When analog meets digital
I started my professional career as allround photographer in a local advertising agency and discovered all the pleasures of being an artist. This was in 1972, half a century ago. After a period as freelancer, I changed into a full time teaching career, always in photography. In the millennium year 2000, a drastic change took place: photography changed from analog to digital. No more lonely hours in red lit darkrooms and long time waiting for prints or films to dry. In extra courses like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, I encountered -again- the basics of sensitometric sciences: curves, masks, layers and densities. But generally, nothing really has changed: it was still the photographers eye that decide how the image was going to look like. Pre-visualising was the name of the trick!
Few years before the millennium I was interested in another creative project: Printmaking (techniques like etching, lithography, silk screen printing, …) but I considered the use of solvents and evasive products as dangerous.
In 2013 I retired from my teaching job and started looking for another artistic technique to spend all my creativity in. In a local art academy, in my hometown Hasselt, I found what I was looking for. Because of environmental issues the instructor changed the traditional process into less invasive procedures by using environmental friendly products. No more traditional solvents, using water-based inks and less invasive cleaning products.
My works are printed from photopolymer plates (steel back) and is water processed, hardened with UV-lights. I still use old school oil based inks because of the warmth, the saturation and the depth of the colors. But I clean my photopolymer plates with an ecological liquid. My prints are printed on cotton based white paper 300 & 350 gr/m.
The content of my prints are based on earlier photographic work, but adapted into graphic-architectural images. By carefully superposing different plates in (up to 4) different colors a new graphical image appears: a new analog creation is made. Perspective, composition and contrast are important issues in each of the images, just as it was in my previous photographic work.
A photopolymer plate is a metal plate coated with a light-sensitive film and is ordinary made to use in graphic industry. The photopolymer process is a non-toxic process.
The image is transferred upon the paper, the artist is using different images and colours to create a unique result.