Azumi Takeda, The Potency of Coffee
Recommended by Nikki (Fine Print Photographer & Content Publisher):
"The level of technical detail in this etching is intricate - from each character’s particular facial expression to the curtains, hanging plants, mirror, and archway tile designs. Takeda is so good at taking simple everyday things like drinking coffee at a coffee shop and turning them into interesting shadow box scenes. The viewer can’t help but look at each of the people in this crowded room and wonder what they are all thinking behind their wide eyes. The only character not looking at one another or at themselves in the mirror is the person directly in front of the viewer. Rather than participating in the gossip or chatter, this person is rolling their eyes and looking up at the ceiling, while they drink their coffee."
Tetsuo Aoki, Facing Each Other
Recommended by Emma (Marketing & Communications Manager):
"Aoki's work often focuses on human interaction and human connection - or lack thereof. Amidst his many works featuring crowds of busy people and missed connections, Aoki has delivered this beautiful portrayal of two figures facing each other, stopped in time. With emphatically oversized arms, the figures demonstrate the incredible intimacy and tenderness of simple human touch. Though the figures have no facial features, the piece evokes the disarming sensation of staring directly into someone else's eyes. All that cannot be explained about human emotion seems to rest in the quiet space created between them."
Wesley W. Bates, The Seer (Look and See)Recommended by Sam (Gallery Owner & Director):
"This wood engraving makes particularly effective use of the detail possible with the medium. The artist uses the form of the farmer viewed from the back, to show the man's home and property. You get a clear sense of the place and that he is directly connected to this rural context of wildlife, river, and the surrounding fields. The image shows that it is all part of him."
Claes Oldenburg, Unattended Lunches
Recommended by Paige (Collections Manager):
"An absurd and almost pointless project, Oldenburg finds just the right amount of humor while looking at the precious, boring thing we call everyday life. Although very different from his famous large-scale sculptures, this booklet is captivating to me precisely because it's so small and personal. After his recent passing, this piece and the meaning of 'unattended' are even more intriguing."
Artemio Rodriguez, Stop Mad Cowboy Disease (Black and White)
Recommended by Rebecca (Gallery Manager):
"Artemio Rodríguez has a wonderful talent for making even the dead feel fresh and alive. In this piece, the classic Día de los Muertos Mexican style is given new life. The skeleton horse and his skeleton cowboy take over the scene and ride guns blazing. The horse's eyes and mane are crazed, and the cowboy's boots look as pristine as ever. The energy is electric."