The First Edition etching is executed in a special created blend of French, oil-based colored inks and printed on STONEHENGE brand fawn colored paper. Four editions are each limited to only five etchings. I used a Charles Brand industrial floor press that was manufactured in New York City. The image size is 6.5 inches wide by 8.5 inches” high 16.51cm x 21.59cm and was produced by placing two individual zinc plates, each is Four Inches high by Six Inches high, or 10.16cm x 25.40cm, on the press bed to create one scene. The plates required five individual etching baths in Nitric acid. All etchings were hand printed by the artist at The Center for Works on Paper in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US.
The original print ships to the collector in a frame with both an archival mat and craft paper backing glued in place. The frame measures between 11 to 12 inches wide by 14 to 15 inches high, 27.94 to 30.48cm x 35.56 to 38.10c. This work was printed at The Center for Works on Paper at 705 Christian Street within the Open Studio for Printmaking. I employed the studio etching techniques of intaglio, aquatint, and drypoint.
This etching is from my new series entitled, Slot Machine Gun Assassination, which focuses upon the death of art in Atlantic City, New Jersey, an east coast seaside resort. As a child of eight, the artist and his mother traveled to Atlantic City to hear his jazz musician father, Happy Di Falco, play at the Club Harlem, frequently with, The Ink Spots. The artist shot the photo, on which this etching is based, in1981, about twenty years after visiting the vibrant Club Harlem. It shows a very different Atlantic City, which is devoid of businesses and clubs since 1978, the year when casino gambling became legal there.
Between the years of 1945 and 1979, Atlantic City began to attract many artists from New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington DC as year round residents. The worlds of Jazz, Dance, and Nightclubs had already established solid roots here, with establishments like the elegant Club Harlem, whose stars included such luminaries as Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and Red Foxx. Moreover, a growing art scene was quickly taking root after 1960 with the opening of art galleries, studios, and experimental theaters. In addition, a vibrant trans, gay and lesbian presence exploded around this time, and Atlantic City soon gained a reputation as New Jerseys Greenwich Village. Sadly, this changed after Casino Gambling arrived, and mob connected corporations purchased blocks of prime oceanfront property on the famous boardwalk. These buildings were demolished and transformed into a cheesy stretch of smoke filled arenas, minus the Americana kitch architecture or allure of Las Vegas. The three to five blocks behind these newly constructed casinos, the same area where dozens of gay bars, jazz clubs, cinemas, theaters, and restaurants flourished, were razed to make space for parking lots that never materialized. At present, the casinos provide parking for thousands of employees outside of the city limits and transport them to work on shuttle buses.
“Atlantic City , the artist explains, “now reminds me of a twilight zone of bulldozed nothingness.
Atlantic City, Casinos, Jazz, Club Harlem, New Jersey, Original Printmaking, Political Printmaking