We’ve been on a bit of an antique portrait frame kick recently, so when Brad first saw Zembo Boy, he couldn’t help but picture the kid looking out from under a piece of beveled glass, encased in an intricately ornate cast black resin frame. So he contacted Ron (for whom we've been lucky enough to do some design work in the [ancient] past) with a proposal for a project built around the image. Mr. English graciously consented and we were well on our way.
The image presented some unique printing challenges—Ron’s imagery has a truly socks-knocking, insane hyper-real aesthetic about it and we wanted to preserve as much of that as we could when translating the large-scale oil painting into a small-scale intaglio print. Similarly, frames like the one employed here were originally made to showcase old-style, tack-sharp daguerreotypes; we went through not a few rounds of plates attempting to be true to our sources, squeezing (literally!) as much fine detail, smooth sheen, and as many bottomless rich darks out of the plate as is possible.
We’ve detailed the casting process we use to make these resin frames before, so I’ll spare you the details and just take an opportunity to reiterate that these frames take an inordinate amount of labor and care to produce, making it extra-important to us that the particulars of the frame and the art within it complement each other. And in that respect, the quirky, vintage, vaguely oriental flavors of both frame and image here are a perfect fit.
Also, here are some more casting pictures, because pictures of toxic black polyurethane resin goo are cool:
In short, we’re pretty excited about this release, and hope you are too.
Ron English: Zembo Boy
- Edition: 100 + 10 Artist’s Proofs, 10 Printer’s Proofs & 1 Bon à tirer
- Print size: 4.875" x 3.375"
- Frame size: 10.125" x 7.25"
- Printed intaglio on Rives Heavyweight printmaking paper with Charbonnel inks
- Hand stained in ink and gouache
- Signed and numbered by the artist
- Framed in a cast-resin, hand-antiqued frame with custom laser cut steel backing plate
- Mounted under curved glass
- Comes with a custom-designed, perforated, signed and numbered Certificate of Authenticity