I am an artist from Somerville, Massachusetts, USA. I am originally from Connecticut, and I have lived in the Boston area since 1997.
I work primarily in artist books reproduced as zines—usually pocket-sized, containing photocopies of detailed cut-and-paste layouts. Constructing pages digitally creates a more refined result, but I prefer the imperfection of handmade layouts, which reveal the artist’s interaction with the materials and content. I create detailed, layered layouts, and then from the original piece, I make copies. As the original tends to be structurally fragile, copies allow the piece to be handled and passed around, to be read and shared. Letting the viewer interact with my work is important, and so the accessibility of the zine format appeals to me: the materials required are readily available (and easily substituted or improvised), and can be shared in person or through the mail. When creating my originals, I use found materials such as security envelopes, because they are commonly perceived as junk, yet open to reveal abstract and geometric patterns. I also incorporate archaic forms of communication, like Letraset letters from the 70s or text typed on a vintage typewriter. Working with these materials is a nod to old ways of doing things, and makes use of things that would normally be thrown away. My illustrations and hand-drawn lettering are sketched in pencil and then rendered in black ink, which I have learned is essential to creating crisp, clear photocopies. Developing my cut-and-paste aesthetic is something I have been working on since the mid-nineties, when I discovered zines as a teenager.
I draw inspiration from diaries and personal histories. I send a lot of postcards and receive mail in return, and one of the things I find most exciting is reading someone else’s story in their own words and handwriting. I am also interested in more deliberate forms of public message-making, specifically contemporary street art and the art of traditional sign-painting in the twentieth century. These forms of art inspire the hand-drawn lettering that I incorporate into much of my work. Working in similar media for several years, I assign new themes and constraints to each project to keep things interesting and to challenge myself to try something different.
A few interviews and mentions:
Talking with the Lower East Side Librarian about coming out of zine retirement HERE
Talking with Barnard Zine Library about donating my collection to the library HERE
Talking with Craftland (Providence, RI) about my process and work space HERE
The waver of the line: Art, imperfection, and Marissa Falco's "Meta" by Caitlin Constantine HERE