This piece was truly a labor of love. Created for the 2014 AIGA Toledo Summer Show titled PopCorn Posters, this screen print was a sweat-soaked frankenstein in the making. Down and Dirty, DIY, home screen set up and lot's of labor. Mad Max is one of my old school favorite film franchises. You would be hard pressed to find a film or comic nerd like me that doesn't have an affinity for the look, feel and set style of the series. Not that there weren't plenty prior to Max, but many post-apocalyptic films made after Mad Max clearly pull from the films visual style. A friend allowed me to use his home screen print rig to create this work. The set up is tucked into an alcove at the top of the basement stairs. Truly a thing of maniacal beauty, the pull table is homemade and powered by a shopvac for suction.
Our exposure unit had a tiny leak in the air hose, tricking us for multiple burns. Eight hours of sweaty, fruitless screen washing and coating can be frustrating, but it makes the victory all the more sweet.
For me over time the film has became more about the legend of Mad Max, an iconic idea of the desert wandering road warrior out hunting for revenge, seeking chaos and carnage with a heavy heart and an "it's you or me" death wish.
In my mind, this translates the man into the mythical rockstar. Mad Max is the sound of rumbling cages of steel grating down shattered asphalt, heavy repurposed metal and car parts grinding down deadly, downtrodden highways and the desert remnants of a world long failed. Gritty, dirty, monstrous and larger than life, the engine of his hacked together car explodes with heat and flame as it barrels toward targets. To separate Max from the car is to rob the dowser of their divining rod.
In keeping with the comic book love affair I'm sure I'll have all my life, the pulp sensibility of halftones reminded me of gritty desert sands and rusted, chewed steel.
The car was hacked together from multiple images and halftone patterns of various cars and car parts. The engine was built from various halftone patterns, and random exhaust venting ported in to create an irrational, impossible beast.
The printing process itself wound up reflecting the theme, as our largest screen size was 16x20 and our print was 18x24. To accommodate this, we had to burn four screens, two for the color in the backgrounds, and two for the black layer on top. We then manually aligned the four screens for every pull in the series.
To experiment, we ran prints on cougar 80lb cover ivory, and also white. The series was a compilation of yellow backgrounds with black detail on ivory and white, but the limited edition of blend roll prints we ultimately fell in love with was pulled primarily on ivory.
We performed a fire-red blendroll into custom yellow, and had to hit the blend just right for the background gradient to transition across the screen split without being noticed.