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Jonathon Quinnelly
Every Last Drop

mezzotint
3.5″ x 5″

@quinston_churchill
USA

Alex Rowe, Illustrator & Children's Book Artist

Alex Rowe
Teaching Assistant
Illustrator & Children’s Book Artist

Artist Statement
“I am an undergraduate student in the Printmaking program at the University of North Texas. I have experience with various intaglio processes using copper, but this is my first mezzotint. The process of rocking the plate was time consuming, but the rich black is well worth it. I have enjoyed the reductive approach to drawing and the subtle values that are possible with this technique.

Conceptually, this is new territory for me as an artist. As a white man in America, the topic of race is uncomfortable and even good intentions are often misguided and misunderstood, so I welcome any and all feedback on both form and content. This print is about racial oppression and cultural appropriation in the United States. It is supposed to resemble the kid’s game of “Indian Rug Burn” taken to an extreme point in which the arm is being violently wrung out. This is to symbolize the ongoing, systemic violence against people of color in the United States and also the way white Americans intentionally or ignorantly steal from minority cultures.

I am planning on working the plate until there is a more obvious skin tone difference between the hands and the arm, which will hopefully communicate the message more clearly. However, even with more work, I know that the image may be too vague to communicate the specific idea that inspired it.”

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1 responses on "Jonathon Quinnelly"

  1. Profile photo of Britt Sodersjerna

    Wonderful work on this piece! I agree that mezzotint was certainly the right media for a project like this, the grittiness and lack of color really contribute to the piece as a whole. Once you do make stronger distinctions in skin tone, I think your message will be very clear.

    In some ways, I do loose the twisting in the arm that you are trying to convey. Having an older brother, I know just how painful these are, yet it almost reminds me of wrinkled skin rather than it being violently twisted. I think if you kept the creases closer to the hands itself, it could be a bit more clear!

    What you mentioned in your artist statement really reminded me, to a much lesser extent, of the controversy around Open Casket, a painting By Dana Schutz from this year’s Whitney Biennial. Without getting into too much detail as the piece is very raw, Schutz made headlines for the almost complete divide over her piece- some people thought she was bringing attention to a sensitive topic, while others wanted it removed from the exhibition or even destroyed. I think more than anything being well informed and as real as possible, like Alex said in the video is extremely important for this sort of subject. I do not think this is a problem in your piece, but it is very important to keep in mind!

    Overall great work!

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