"As a species our history is preserved through the collective human consciousness; our bodies vessels for the past and the present, knowledge, memory, legends and thought. It is this inherited past that serves as the eternal and indestructible foundation of our selves; that whisper at the back of the brain that instinctively reconciles the individual with his or her place in time, history, and humanity. Memories are often incomplete, obscured, and fabricated, constantly changing in the reflection of the present. In my work I aim to transform these fleeting moments into monuments to the manipulated, revered, invented, and ingrained histories that define us as a species, a culture, and as individuals.
Process is an essential component in the creation of my work. My primary visual aesthetic consists of copper plate etchings and sumi-printed woodblocks, sometimes with the addition of hand coloring. My image selection is based upon the desire to evoke specific memories after the natural warp of time and emotion distorts them from their original reality. For me, process is not merely a means to an end but a meditative experience during which the physicality of carving a woodblock or etching a plate determines the way the image is brought into being. Many of my prints first take shape as line drawings, ink washes, collages, or paintings. These fundamental artistic processes allow me to experiment with the image, visually and conceptually, before embarking on a larger and more laborious version. Some studies never make it to the stage of a print, others exist as finished works, and more go on to become fully realized prints. In addition to printmaking methods, I also employ traditional Japanese scroll mounting techniques which date back hundreds of years, and, along with being completely reversible, are the only truely archival methods of preserving and restoring works on paper These techniques are particularly advantageous for my woodblock printing process, and allow me to join together multiple pieces of Japanese paper in an organic, archival, and virtually seamless manner. In this way I am able to work at any size and back my woodblock prints with an additional one or two more layers of paper, fusing them together to make the print stronger and denser." ~ Nichol Markowitz