Curlee Raven Holton, “Domestic Bliss”

Curlee Raven Holton

The printmaking medium, especially relief prints, offers multiple metaphors for life’s dynamic and often stressful and pressing realities. The press that the matrix passed through applies 100 pounds of pressure per inch, much like the societal pressures we face to conform. The hand-carved block, which has been incised with the messages and marks of our experience, transfers the nuances of the skeleton and scars of the plate to the paper. The paper conforms easily under this pressure and does not tear or break. The combination of pressure and the hard resistant surface of the block, covered with wet, sensuous ink, gently comes into contact with the soft surface of the paper to produce graphic metaphors of our being. Printmaking is a struggle over the physical world of materials to give voice to a longing for artistic freedom and human consciousness.

Curlee Raven Holton is a printmaker and painter whose work has been exhibited professionally for more than twenty-five years. Holton earned his MFA with honors from Kent State University and his BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art in drawing and printmaking. Since 1991, he has taught printmaking and African American art history at Lafayette College, and is also the founding director of the Experimental Printmaking Institute. Works produced by EPI have been included in such prestigious collections as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, High Museum, Allentown Museum, and Yale University Art Gallery.