1xRUN Thru Interview
Outcast by Victor Reyes
1xRUN: Tell us a little bit about these hand-painted screen prints, when were they drawn out and created?
Victor Reyes: The original piece is a painted on wood panel with gouache and acrylic. The image has been in my library for years, and this is my fourth and best attempt at re assembling my feeling about this image. It is a classic image from mythology intended to provoke philosophical interpretation. They started out as a six-color screen print, but we added an addition two layers along with the fact that each layer is hand-finished with acrylic and Holbein gouache.
1xRun: Can you tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Victor Reyes: This piece was really created with the actual print making, I didn’t have the original painting, so we just made it as we went. It is based on this illustration that I’ve had forever that I used for a reference piece. This screen print is a real loose, abstract interpretation of the illustration. It’s essentially the arch angel Michael and he’s casting Satan out of heaven. Although it’s really loose, there’s this angel at the top and he’s literally standing on the devil with a spear in his heart. The whole thing is related back to a conversation based on classic literature, Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man, the James Joyce novel. To paraphrase it’s about the idea of creativity and being an artist, in Latin they call in non-serviam, or not to serve. You’re not going to live by the classic upbringing, you’re going to make art and be creative. That’s what the print is about loosely and a bit of the inspiration. It’s also interesting and colorful to look at.
1xRUN: Can you talk about the color palette you’ve went with on this piece?
Victor Reyes: The color palette is loosely based on the painting, but unlike the painting, it’s a little harder to match the colors on a serigraph. But on this we have a lot of gouache between all the layers to create this kind of an aquatic feeling, like you’re seeing it through the water. It’s not in my normal body of work, it’s a bit out. Making screen prints to me is much more interesting than a giclee or a rock poster style. I’ve been into screen printing for years along with my studio-mate who helped me on this, so it’s fun to really go off the map, and with this that’s what we did. The eggplant layer, the dark purple with the whites in it was the last layer, the layer ontop of that is the stippling with the yellow and green, those weren’t even in the painting, but we had to do that to satisfy the process of making these. We opted out of doing a lot drawing in these and went with a bit more of a messier, sloppier, suggestive palette.
1xRUN: Can you tell us about your studio mate who worked with you on these prints?
Victor Reyes: Yes, my friend Nicholas Portalupi he is part of the company Moon Editions out here in California. He is the one who taught me how to screen print, but he is a great painter as well as a great print maker. He is always making great stuff so I was glad to have the collaboration between us. He made a lot of suggestions, he was really excited about it. It became a conversation between us, at one point I wasn’t happy with how loose it was, but he was very into the beauty of the meshed colors and that it is isn’t as much of a literal outlined poster.
1xRun: How long did the piece take?
Victor Reyes: 34 years.
1xRun: What is unique about this piece?
Victor Reyes: Every print is different, they are painted acetate with hand touched layers.
1xRun: When did you first start making art?
Victor Reyes: 1992.
1xRun: What artists inspire you now?
Victor Reyes: Bacon and Brown.