I graduated Kent State University in 1976 with a BFA in studio art. Painting was my field. My advisor Morton Grossman was a teacher and painter from NYC, an abstract expressionist. I was a hard edge, geometric, color field painter. That same year I moved to Berkeley, California and once settled I kept working at my painting but the times were changing for me. In 1978 went to art school at the San Francisco Academy of Art studying advertising art and this gave me a new vision of the art world and how I should be making art.
I met other artists who didn’t paint, but instead used collage and copy art in their artwork. I soon joined them in working with collage techniques to produce artworks including color Xerox postcards and prints. The postcards were a traditional glued down collage copied in multiples and were popular so I sold them in stores nationally. They became a source of income allowing me to make more experimental type prints/copies with different techniques.
The way I saw it the Xerox 6500 color copier was both a printer and a camera and I pushed the limits of both tools in making a more colorful, looser collage imagery. A color Xerox copy machine was located in a printmaking and photography studio on UC Berkeley campus and they let artists be the operator giving artists freedom to experiment with the new medium. For a time I also taught color Xerox workshops at the ASUC Studio at UC Berkeley.
Most of my color Xerox artworks were made during the years 1979 through 1984. I used the 3 scan print operation of the machine to interchange images copied and got a more colorful mixing in my artwork. I played with the focal distance of the camera by holding flat art in a way that caused a blurring that gave the illusion of depth. Both of these techniques are evident in my portfolio of color Xerox prints.
Eventually I used the additional medias of heat-transfer paper, and transparency sheets with color Xerox images in larger multi-media artworks to break out of the 8.5 x 14 inch limitation of the copier glass. One could combine multiple copied images to make a larger work when ironed or pressed on a larger sheet of paper.
Today I still use color copiers to make images as well as iPhone and other digital reproduction tools. The local Oakland copy shop I frequent has the latest Canon color copy machines which produce a glossy page that looks like a printed magazine page. The quality has changed and improved since the Xerox 6500 but some would say the original Xerox made the best prints and they miss that look and feel.
You can see my latest imagery on my website, joeypatrickt.wordpress