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Viscosity Monotypes & Essential Shapes

This on-going series of works revolves around the fractal-like patterns, often called viscous fingers, produced when a high viscosity liquid (or gas) is injected under high pressure into a lower viscosity liquid (ink). I’ve always been interested in fractals, not just as abstract, mathematical expressions, but methodological and visual ones as well. How do I create a body of work that’s devised from a fractal-like process? These works, which sprout from a random discovery at the printing press, encapsulate the ubiquity of fractals as seen in plain sight throughout our world, and in the way we perceive that world. This body of work consists of a unique form of printing developed at Studio Shappy. The resulting prints I’ve termed viscosity monotypes. From these prints come a variety of analog and digital art objects of hand crafted, found, and generated origins. 

The Spiral-Verse

The Spiral-Verse is the culmination of nearly six years of research, experimentation and iteration within the viscosity monotype body of work. This piece  was installed at Cove St Arts in Portland, ME, for a group exhibition titled Gargantua & Lilliputian--curated by studio friend, master printer and artist David Wolfe of Wolfe Editions. The installation plays off one of the centrally atractitive qualities of fractal geometry--the inifinite self-similarity at ever greater and diminishing scales. The goal was  to create a body of work that is not only visually fractal, but made by a fractal-like process of self-reference. A fractal of a fractal of a fractal, and so on. Even more, the work is distilled in the continuation of derivitive works--such as the essential shapes featured in the section to below.

The Spiral-Verse
325 Scroll-sawed viscosity monotypes on hardboard with acrylic and lacquer paint.
Approx. 11’ x 8’

Essential Shapes & Other Works

Copyright 2021 Carter Shappy