There was a time when printed newspapers were ubiquitous in my life. Papers were always scattered about the house, including the thick Sunday edition of The New York Times that didn’t get recycled until the next one arrived. There was a time too when reading The Wall Street Journal was intrinsic to my morning workday routine. So, when I began making art in earnest, I instinctively incorporated newspapers into my work.

My early graphite still life drawings paired carefully rendered folded newspapers with objects. Later, I explored cropping pages of newspaper, mounting them to panel, and painting a still life on top in oil. In some of these, the newspaper provides a uniformly printed background. In others, the still life subject plays off the printed content. The flat monochromic plane of the newspaper contrasts with the implied space created by the form and shadows of the painted still life.

Newspaper text and graphics are visually compelling to me. I find they add decorative and interactive elements when incorporated into an artwork. The content also adds layers of meaning, especially since newspapers serve as cultural artifacts. Because newspapers reflect society’s preoccupations at a given point in time, they contextualize the artwork. Although the news is now available digitally, round-the-clock, the printed editions endure and continue to offer creative possibilities.

 --- Catherine Christiano


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