Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts

November 2008–June 2009

Printmaking students installed large-scale self-portraits inspired by the Janine Antoni sculpture Lick and Lather.  Exploring ideas about the self and identity—ideas similar to what Antoni explores in her work—each student then created self-portrait prints based on archetypes. Medium-density fiberboard (MDF), steel, plastic, and fabric were chosen as the materials for the plates and prints. They are common materials that were adapted by the students for printmaking. Student Alice Armstrong stated, “In printmaking, the process of manipulating and printing the plate is a very delicate, nuanced, and sensitive one. We have applied that same sensibility to large-scale, construction-grade materials, transforming the printmaking process into a highly physical and tactile one. Working with these materials—steel, MDF, and plastic—becomes an act of construction.  As we construct images from our materials, we are constructing ourselves through these images.”