Robert Porte

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Artist Statement

From 1986 to 1997 I lived in Berlin and it was there I learned to etch on copper and zinc plates. I fell in love with the process, especially the copper plates and began doing etched mono-prints. Ever since, I have been obsessed with the plates' small format, the weight, the warm color and cold smooth surface, the sharp exact edges, its fragility, and its alchemy. Doing mono-prints afforded me the opportunity to paint a new painting every time on top of a constant etched line, print it and destroy it. Eventually the copper plates, without etched lines became the support for oil paintings that contain many elements and qualities of that original etching process as well as influences of other printing processes including photography. Literature, music, new places, movement, nature, weather, light, memory…these are the things that are an integral part of my work.

The absence of humans in my visual plane is intentional. The human presence exists solely in the perspective, the observatory … a place of safety giving way to a place of danger?

Within these small rectangles of copper are places I have been, none recreated verbatim as one could do from photographs, rather excavated out of the materials I am working with, be it paint, gold leaf, rubber bands or gaffers' tape.

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