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ARI MARCOPOULOS Ari Marcopoulos emigrated from Holland to New York in 1979 where he began his art career assisting Andy Warhol. Since then Marcopoulos has documented the diverse subcultures of American youth. He has described his process by saying “he photographs things at arms reach”, meaning those things close to him, part of his life. His photographs and videos document the immediacy of underground music, art, and the rebelliousness of youth including that of his own sons. His straightforward portraits and lush snapshots capture arresting, unsentimental moments of beauty and anxiety. Marcopoulos was part of the 2010 Whitney Biennial Exhibition. Since emigrating 34 years ago, Marcopoulos has documented the diverse subcultures of American youth. In a body of work that demonstrates a rare empathy for his subjects, who are almost always young men or boys, Marcopoulos neither patronizes tentative expressions of identity nor romanticizes youthful freedom. His straightforward portraits and lush snapshots capture everyday moments of beauty and anxiety, becoming, as he says, “something that just stands for life lived.” These new photogravure editions with Ari combine elements of his own history, using iconic images of Warhol’s Marylin Monroe portrait, and his more recent photographs of graffiti. For years Marcopoulos has worked with Xerox machines as a medium to create his photographic prints. In these compositions he uses several of his photographs to make mulitpass xerox prints, creating new compositions born out of chance. With the intaglio process, we elevate and enlarge the simple and direct beauty of the low-fi Xerox technique through the lavish tradition of photogravure. Each print is 35x47 inches printed from a 30x40 inch plate, limited to an edition of 10, and signed and numbered by the artist on the verso. The artist has presented exhibitions at The Berkeley Art Museum, PS1/MOMA, New York, NY, New Orleans Museum of Art,The Detroit Institute of Art and MU, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

Since the early eighties Marcopoulos has created a dizzying body of work. He credits Andy Warhol who reminded him that “anything is worth taking a picture of”. This ethos has been at the heart of Ari’s work. His photographs of the New York downtown music and art scene are among the most truthful documents of their time. He captured his friendships with Warhol and Basquiat along with rising stars in the music and artworld and continues with his recent work with Jay-Z, creating the images and creative direction for the Magna Carta album.

ari marcopoulos: Reproduction 1 & Reproduction 2

Griff Williams at Gallery 16 invited Ari to create original editions layered in both meaning and techinque. Ari has made an enormously impressive career chronicling his life. His photographs document everything from street culture, music, and graffiti to the upper echilons of high art. His work is a careful mix of these worlds in collision. He has photographed annoymous street kids, graffiti artists, and rappers, as well as some of the most important artists and change makers of our time. Along the way he has remained keenly interested in the process of artmaking. As it relates to his chosen medium of photography, Ari constantly rewrites the rulebook often trampling on the preciousness embedded in the medium. Over his long career, Marcopoulos has thrown certain photographic traditions to the wind in favor of using commonplace, pedestrian methods of capturing images. Ari frequently leaves the “time stamp” that his camera records in the corner of his finished photographs. He also embraces prosaic reproductive tools such as xerox to print his photographic work. A voracious book and zine maker, Ari discovered that the photocopy process allowed him to overprint several pictures on the same page creating a new less narrative, more abstract image. His interest in exploiting various print methods led us to the idea of taking two of Ari’s overprinted xeroxes (considered the most common print process) and producing it in photogravure, photography’s most lavish technique. The process involves creating 30x40 inch pieces of film which are used to expose and etch large plates which are ultimately inked and printed on an etching press. These new photogravure editions with Marcopoulos combine elements of his own history, using iconic images of Warhol’s Marylin Monroe portrait overprinted with recent photographs of graffiti. The result is a commentary on long held views about craftsmanship in artmaking and a historical nod to Warhol who bucked those traditions himself. The work also reads like a timeline for Ari’s own artistic journey embracing the high and low traditions of contemporary image making.


Ari Marcopoulos, Reproduction 1, Photogravure on Somerset 330 gram Radiant White, 47x35, edition of fifteen.

Ari Marcopoulos, Reproduction 2, Photogravure on Somerset 330 gram Radiant White, 47x35, edition of fifteen.

Gallery 16 Editions Gallery 16 Editions was founded by artist Griff Williams in 1993 and has published over 800 prints, artist books, and multiples with artists including Ari Marcopoulos, Jim Goldberg, Lynn Hershman, Amy Franceschini, Adam Lowe, William Kentridge, Deborah Oropallo, Jim Isermann, bell hooks, Ann Chamberlain, Elliot Anderson, Carol Selter, Rebeca Bollinger, Rex Ray, Margaret Kilgallen, David Perry, Barry Gifford, and Rudy VanderLans. Our editions program started by design as an artist driven project. We didn’t break the rules, we didn’t understand the rules. Fine art presses around the world historically invite painters who understand the nature of graphic media. We invite conceptual artists, sculptors, video artists and photographers to create an idea which can be serialized and then set out to find a way to produce the idea in the form of a multiple. We encourage the notion that collectors become less involved with acquiring a shiny object and more interested in supporting a production system. The acquisition of art objects can certainly be framed as an exchange that encourages of this broader mechanism of support. We think It should be viewed as an act that connects communities together.

Ari Marcopoulos edition is available through Gallery 16. Gallery 16 is located at 501 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94107. Inquiries may contact Griff Williams at 415-626-7495. All images Š Ari Marcopoulos.

Ari Marcopoulos at Gallery 16  

A catalog of a recent project with artist Ari Marcopoulos. Gallery 16 invited Ari to produce two limited edition photogravures. This is a vi...

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