El Grabador (The Printmaker)

I’m enjoying the slower process of doing videos. I met Oswaldo though Rocío. He’s a remarkable painter, craftsman, and engraver. He made a few of my canvas stretchers. He teaches printmaking at Taller Rufino Tamayo, a center for creative arts in Oaxaca. Which is here:

He spent an afternoon with me on my roof recording the audio of his story. I cut 45 minutes to 5 while hanging out on the beaches of Huatulco and San Agustinillo.

After Day of the Dead, Rocío and I spent two delightful nights recording Oswaldo in his studio. His wife, Rocío as well, was so gracious with us. His two boys are open and so polite. While looking over the clips back at my office, I realized we needed a shot of a street dog since street dogs featured so prominently in the narrative. So we made another run to Oswaldo’s home where his dog, Pascual, was willing to make a couple of passes beneath the “Sex Shop” sign next door. It gave a seedy ambience to the plight of the street dogs.

Working on this project, so soon after the U. S. election, was bitter sweet. My heart breaks when I see that my country is going about the business of making enemies of a people so loving, happy, open, generous, and vibrant. In turn, they are mystified and rightfully angered. Some offer me solace in commiserating over the fact that now both of our governments are morally corrupt. Ugh.

I write this I’m in my daughter’s home in Seattle, where it is 40 degrees colder than Oaxaca. It’s great to visit and great to return to Oaxaca’s fine winters.

Here is the result:

2 thoughts on “El Grabador (The Printmaker)

  1. well, i loved this man and artist’s philosophy about art, one’s life and experience, how your life shapes your art, and how god has touched him in the making of his truth in art. i want to make prints but i don’t want to work with all those chemicals. i’d like to work with wood engraving and paint, which i think is less toxic. does oswaldo also make that type of print? very well done, brian, well edited, shows the creative process as well as a vignette of the man.

    1. Thank you Nancy! On the issue of harsh chemicals, Oswaldo has done a lot of research on that. The process is acid free. The mordant used to etch the plate is composed of water, salt, and potassium, not sure about the last one. Basically it’s a fast rusting of the plate by dipping and scrubbing off the rust. Pretty clean. Notice Oswaldo is not wearing a mask.

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