Saturday, June 22, 2013


Early summer in the beautiful Lakes Region of New Hampshire is the venue for my next exhibition.  It will be hosted by the Gordon-Nash Library in their newly refurbished Nash Gallery and curated by Cathy Nolan Vincevic.

On display will be a variety of works created during the last several years including three of my newly editioned Photobooth Kabuki woodcuts. These are inspired by Japanese Purikura (print club) photobooths where you can adjust your image to appear more "manga".   For these pieces I combine solarplate photogravures with traditional woodcut to place myself back in in the era of ukyio-e prints; a direct precursor to this modern taste for anime and manga.

On exhibit will be two prints from my ongoing work concerning imagery based on finishing Rene Daumal's unfinished novel, Mount Analogue.  This woodcut to the left, titled Zeng He's Stowaway,  is the latest. This piece required six hand-carved blocks and a total of thirteen color applications.

Original blocks will be on display for those interested in this traditional Japanese printmaking technique.

Several relatively small accordion style artist books will be on display.  The most involved, titled Today Only, unfolds to over 20 feet and contains ten solarplate photogravues printed in the artist's studio with embossing and poetry.  The work is part travelogue and part meditation on impermanence.

Along with books are a related passion; small hand-made 'game' boxes loosely based on tic tac toe and current events, strife and dualities.  The boxes contain two carved game piece "stamps"that are similar to artist's 'chops' stamped into prints.  The boxes also contain booklets and collaged interiors.

The exhibit will also include many of my ink drawings and studies, several mixed media works and collage.

Gordon-Nash Library blog announcement.

Event Page (for those on Facebook)

LAYERS - July 10th through July 31st. - Opening July 10th from 5 - 8pm. Nash gallery in the Gordon-Nash Library, 69 Main St. New Hampton, NH.  Information 603-744-8061

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Kabuki Continues

Nine moku hanga prints drying _ #2 from the Photobooth Kabuki series  

Number two from my Photobooth Kabuki series of four prints is complete; just in time for the inaugural online interview "Ten Minutes with an Artist" hosted by Chicago based artist and writer Philip Hartigan. "Ten Minutes" compliments Philip's widely popular "A View from the Easel" for Hyperallergic. Artists are introduced and give a brief show and tell of a current work in progress. (YouTube at the bottom of this post)

My latest woodcuts are based on Purikura (print club) type images from certain Japanese photobooths.  These photobooths can smooth and lighten your skin, make your eyes larger and "cuter" but often leaves you with a stip of pictures that bear little resemblance to your actual appearance.  In many you can add effects making you appear more like a character from a manga style comic.  The booths were developed to target teenage girls who edit their images then collect them into books.

Two solarplates initiated the layers needed to build the final image.

It's easy to dismiss Purikura as a teen fad, but I as I thought more about it I realized how strongly it relates to our photoshopped and airbrushed ideals of beauty.   

This impulse for manipulation of our body image also relates to the curation of image via social media where much of our lives must stand in comparison to everyone else's online identity.

I began with a strip of myself from a photobooth where the various poses I struck reminded me of a silent performance.  I then decided for this series to pay homage to Utagawa Kuniyoshian (1797-1861), an artist whom I believe much is owed as a precursor to modern anime and manga.

I searched his work looking for characters from his kabuki, warrior and caricature images for similarity of pose to graft onto my photobooth shots.

For this print I chose Kuniyoshi's Sixteen Year-Old Warrior Masayuki for the tilt of head, great hair and grimace.

The key block carved mimicking Kuniyoshi's style hair and grimace.

Detail of embossing - My "Kuroko" (invisible stage hand in this Kabuki)

Photobooth Kabuki 2 - ©William Evertson 2013 - 29.7 x 21 cm

YouTube of the context of my Photobooth Kabuki woodcuts from the +Philip Hartigan series "Ten Minutes with an Artist".

This piece and other prints will be part of my summer one person show in New Hampshire at the gallery in Gordon-Nash Library.  Details on my summer exhibit to follow in the next post.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Edo Pop

Susan Shulman and William Evertson at Japan Society's Edo Pop

None of my trips into NYC would be complete without a stop to the Japan Society.  Quietly tucked in near the UN on East 47th the Society's gallery hosts shows that have inspired my practice for years.  Edo Pop is one of those. (in fact a bit jealous since my work could have been tucked in there somewhere - more on my latest print series later)

The curators are exhibiting 100 historic ukiyo-e woodblock prints paired with the work of ten contemporary artists, who because of style, technique or sensibility create a dialogue with one of the worlds first "popular" art movements.

The Edo period (1615-1868), a prolonged era of relative peace and prosperity became known for a sift in art patronage from the aristocracy to merchants. The prints, known as "pictures of the floating world" found inspiration in everyday life, the pleasure quarters and the theater.

AIKO - Sunrise (detail of mural)

Graffiti artist AIKO, whose wall murals take up the atrium area combines the sensibility of everyday life from the streets with traditional ukiyo-e themes.

Emily Allchurch - Tokyo Story 1: Lotus Garden

Emily Allchurch's large photographic transparencies in light-boxes are paired with landscapes from Hirosage's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo.  Hirosage didn't always visit the locations for his landscapes, instead constructing idealized portraits that were evocative of the soul of a place. Allchurch used a similar sensibility, digitally combining her photographic images to create slightly hyper-real locations.

Paul Binnie - A Hundred Shades of Edo: Sharaku's Caricatures

Paul Binnie, is a Scottish artist who has embraced modern sosaku hanga (creative prints) in which the artist dispenses with the traditional division of labor between the artist and the artisans who actually carve and print the woodcuts in favor of mastering the entire process.  Binnie's work strikes a unique balance of relating to the techniques while adding colors that pop and unique imagery.

Ishii Toru - Tokyo Tower

Ishii Toru's "Tokyo Tower" was an impressive work; a mountain (Fuji?) of salarymen painted as kabuki actors.  It relates strongly to a tradition of caricature combined with reference to current economic and political themes.

Artists Kazama Sachiko, Tomokazu Matsuyama, Masami Teraoka, Jimmy Robert, Narahashi Asako and Hatakeyama Naoyo are also included in Edo Pop.

EDO POP at Japan Society Gallery, 333 East 47th St. NY, NY though June 9th. Hurry!