A tribute to the creative process of artisans.
T-shirts are a part of daily life. Often overlooked except to the graphic tee enthusiast or the creator of the garment itself. Its a perfect medium for making a statement about goods and creative processes that go unrecognized.
Each tee in this series uses an American made garment, produced in California, ink and other silk screening tools by another USA brand, Speedball. The image on each shirt was printed by a process called screen printing. In this instance the design was painted on the screen with drawing fluid. Once dried the rest of the screen was filled in with a screen filler. The filler set and the drawing fluid was washed out.
The printing process was performed 5 times over the course of a month in 2008 as a photographically documented piece of performance art. Each piece was produced in the same location, on the floor of an apartment in Harlem, NYC. The tools used, and the methods of pushing the ink through the screen varied greatly, as did the colors of the ink.
The resulting pieces are "The Million Dollar T-shirt", "The Blue Shirt", "Untitled Mustard", and two other untitled pieces.
The Million Dollar T-shirt is the only piece in the series that crosses over into wearable art. It's undergone a protective process that enables it to be worn and washed like any other graphic tee. Other pieces in the series would be destroyed under the same conditions.
The next steps are to splice the original and only silk screen used in production into 4 equal sections, and pair each section with the non wearable pieces in the series. This physical deconstruction of the screen makes it impossible to replicate the creative process and embodies the message of the series, which is to value and appreciate those goods that are hand-made with love.
The creative process has been paused, however, to resume after the Million Dollar T-shirt is purchased, signaling a public acknowledgement of the message and its importance.
The hope is to gain peoples attention in order to have a deeper conversation about craftsmanship, the true cost of production, environmental impacts and the place of mass production in todays world versus the growing popularity of the makers movement.