Historically, printmaking was the medium used for mass producing images for the public to elicit social reform. Images were etched in stone or metal. They were editioned and prized for their consistency. Each numbered print had to look exactly the same.
This aesthetic was the premise behind Belly Up to the Bar. Etching was the chosen medium to signify the sameness, the routine associated with the corner bar. Yet the etching is not traditionally printed as an edition. No two images are the same. The etching plate acted as a template to experiment with a variety of printmaking techniques coinciding with the variety of physical and emotional changes encompassing the figure. The protagonist eventually goes home and changes. The lighting changes. The beer changes. The demeanor changes. But the great forces of gravity are at work on our guy, putting him in that same stool night after night.
A twelve verse prose was written in conjunction with the twelve images. Each verse is etched on a piece of copper and hung perpendicular to it's corresponding image. It is the voice of the bartender. When installed, the viewer walks into a corner bar to sit and imbibe in a spirit or two.
Come belly up to the bar, young man
And have yourself a beer.
You're new to this place,
Glad to see a new face.
The old ones grow stale day to day.