Voyage de Nuit, Etching, Engraving, Photogravure, 24″ x 13″
Interview wth Michael Goro: Master Printmaker
Chicago ArtStyle, October 28, 2007
Michael Goro, a prominent intaglio printmaker, has lived and worked in Russia, Europe, Israel, and the U.S. His work has received a number of prestigious international awards including Special Prize at the 1998 International Print Triennial in Kanagawa, Japan and Excellent Prize at the 2006 14th Seoul Space International Print Biennial at the Seoul Museum of Art (Korea). He describes his art as a “continuous creative search for raw authenticity in urban environments and human forms that are constantly changing.” Utilizing the full spectrum of printmaking techniques, ranging from Renaissance engraving to digital photogravure, he shares his unique personal experiences through imaginative imagery.
Lady with Ermine, Etching, Engraving, Photogravure, 34″ x 24″
ArtStyle: What have you been working on recently?
Michael Goro (MG): I started a new series with two prints Voyage de Nuit and Lady with Ermine. Both prints were created during my artist’s residencies in Luxembourg (Atelier Empreinte Luxembourg-city) and Paris (Atelier Bo Halbirk Paris) in May and June of 2007. Both compositions examine a contrast between modernity and history within one scene. I juxtapose Chicago and New York urban themes with Renaissance paintings. The “paintings” (manipulated photo plates) depict Piero di Cosimo’s Portrait of Simonetta Vespucci and Leonardo da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine. For me they are not just art history references — they represent a romantic touch, something nostalgic, in the urban jungle. Technically, I used photogravure to introduce the Renaissance pieces, and for the rest of the compositions, I used a combination of etching, engraving, aquatint, and mezzotint. Conceptually, it is a new direction for me, and I am excited to go further in developing new pieces.
Tea Time, Etching/Engraving, 24” x 36”
ArtStyle: Could you talk about Tea Time and what you were trying to accomplish?
MG: For me, it’s a very personal piece. Tea Time is a surreal composition with a portrait of my parents. My parents live in St. Petersburg, and they come here sometimes. In that composition, I bridge the gap between them being here and being back home. As a starting point for the piece, I used a photo of them that I took in a French bakery/café while they were visiting me here in Chicago. The photo was essential for me for that specific print. I used the photo as a document presenting their facts. My intention was to show my parents for who they are and what they look like. Without using the actual photo, consciously or subconsciously, I would try to beautify my mother and make my dad look more thoughtful. That’s a reality. Eventually, however, I moved away from the photo. I ended up erasing most of the photo image on the plate and used etching and engraving to re-create their faces. The table where they sit gradually transforms itself into a St. Petersburg / European imaginary landscape. Russians like to sit at the kitchen table and drink tea, and this is the way I always picture my mom and dad.