The Booklyn Art Gallery is pleased to present Asshats for Shitheads, a solo-exhibition from Sto Len. Asshats for Shitheads debuts a new body of the artist’s work reinterpreting suminagashi printmaking through a series of paintings, prints, and artist’s books.
Suminagashi or “floating ink” is a paper marbling process originated in Japan in the 12th century. This process produces monoprints by painting patterns onto the surface of water with ink, laying down a piece of paper, and removing after a few seconds. These patterned papers were initially used by book-binders as decorative endpaper to mask the bumps and cords of leather bound books. They were also used on book covers to hide dirt and wear more successfully than plain paper.
Using less traditional materials including a plastic swimming pool, Sto allows dirt, paint, residue (and the occasional insect) to build up on his painting surface for days and weeks while preparing a print. Lead in a meditative trance, the ink and artist succumb to the properties of the water and gravity, letting nature alter the artist’s initial strokes. The resulting artworks are textured and dimensional, infused with dirt and often pieces of the floor. Sto’s chance intervention of dirt and residue teases the decorative origin of this process, channeling Arte Povera and Dada tendencies
This exhibition is made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and additionally in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.