Art Lab, Building H
Exhibit open from Dec 9 – 31
In Old Timers: Small Box in the 21st Century, artists Raul Barquet and Alyssa Rapp exhibit a series of portraits featuring small business owners effected by shrinking industries. The gelatin silver photo editions are created using a hybrid technique that allow the artists to combine photography and lettering during the printing process.
Both Barquet and Rapp work in hand lettering and analog photography, media that are largely considered obsolete, which mirrors how the subjects have seen modern technological advancements apply pressure to their businesses. With this project, the artists hope to bring attention to small local businesses and strengthen allegiance to the local community and its economic well being.
During each visit with the subject, the artists conduct an informal interview and learned about the history of the business, their own history, motivations, and feelings in regards to how their industry has changed. The interviews are recorded and selections are available for exhibition guests to listen to while they view the portraits. A catalog featuring each piece in the exhibition will be available, as well as additional photos, preliminary typographic sketches, and printed excerpts from our conversations with the business owners.
During the interview, Alyssa Rapp takes both posed and candid shots of the business owner in 35mm film. Upon developing of the film, Raul Barquet re-imagines text-based logos for the businesses that fit within the composition of the photo. The drawings are painted on a sheet of clear mylar before being printed in the dark room at the same time as the negative.
Both artists have been working in their respective media for over 10 years. Barquet creates typographic work using the tools of pre-digital graphic artists, choosing pencil and ink or sign painter’s enamel. Rapp is a photographer, using the digital medium for commercial work but continuing to use film for her fine artwork.
This project is a recipient of a 2017 DCA Premiere Grant from Staten Island Arts, with public funding from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.