I’ve continually been fascinated by veils – both literal and figurative. The literal may be more obvious, though still mysterious – what does a veil mask or reveal? Is it opaque or translucent? Why would one choose to wrap or wear it? The figurative is more elusive – we can talk of veiled thoughts or an entire human specter of veiled emotions. In this series, I allude to both references, the physical and the mental, and also the spiritual.
This particular series was a wonderful collaboration with others. I brought the idea of the project to a good friend and photographer, Joe Coca, and it was set up in his studio. He took several rolls of film, under my direction, and we each received a contact sheet. I suggested that he should pick several images that he most responded to, as would I. We each came up with the identical images, which was a delightful shock. I then cropped and manipulated the photographs to make them ready to print at a commercial printing company, rather than in my own studio.
Offset lithography has the tremendous advantage (remember, this was 1984 and pre-digital) of making very fine quality photographic images. It is how all our magazines are printed today. I selected a local commercial printing shop and spoke with the owner about making a limited edition fine art print. He miraculously agreed (it’s not cost effective for him, but liked the challenge), and I spent the better part of each day of printing with his most experienced printer, mixing inks and evaluating each run as it came off the press. We could not proof the print beforehand, due to the speed and cost of the process, so I modified the color of each plate to accommodate the one printed before it.
Another reason to do this series in offset lithography was that in this process, each color is put on the paper with tremendous speed and very little ink, so that each layer of color is extraordinarily thin. I could not achieve this surface by hand printing.