Prints of Men
Prints of Men in Kathy Caraccio’s Collection
(Selection and text by Adam Pitt
To be honest I really would have rather curated a show about Prints of Women in Kathy’s collection, but that was already taken (and beautiful job too). There are sensorial aquatints by Emma Amos and voluptuous Polymer Photo Etchings by Ann Tanksley in the virtual gallery and seductive Drypoints by Masaru Bando elsewhere in the collection which are way more captivating than any images of men can offer. Women offer form and beauty to art in a way that men can't.
I offer all this not to diminish from these intriguing and captivating prints I have chosen, just because there is a man involved. My own work has predominantly driven me to the male form and subject matter away from the female. I have gone down this path reluctantly, but my life as a man and the impact of other men who have had power over me have made it such. Men can offer these prints substance, presence and at times angst. Clearly the kind of man you expect to see is Cowboy Hill a woodcut by Morgan Hill, or you look out your window and see a transient suit in Night Shift a woodcut by Sarah Brayer or the men you pass at a fleeting moment on the New York City streets in Robert Birmelin’s aquatint Selective Attention. Then there are the serious men like in the drypoint Alfred Brendel in Jerusalem by Sigmund Abeles, A glass of Guinness Aquatint by Helen Frank or the golfers (no title) Photogravure by Paul Brown. The dark side of men is all around us, lots of creepy guys and there are so many prints of them, such as in the linocut Head On by Nick Madonia, Civan’s Ex Boyfriend, a woodblock viscosity by Zoe Bellot, The Swap, a mezzotint by Martin Langford and my own Birth of a Boss Woodcut (Adam Pitt). Most of the times you know what you can expect from a man, but there are a few surprises such as the flowing Silk Aquatint by Emma Amos of the boxer Joe Lewis disarming us with his hands in his pockets, and the construction workers making out mid-air (no title) in a Linocut by Laurie Lee-Georgescu.
When you see men in art you think of what kind of people they are and what they do. Men tend to have a purpose in Art; they are doing something or being someone. Women can just be pure art.