Gregory Folken’s monotypes search for meaning beyond the surface of everyday life, drawing and wiping into black ink, peering into the darkness to search and reveal inherent beauty and mystery. The monotype printmaking process affords the immediacy of applying ink directly to a blank plate giving a direct link between the subconscious and the marks made.The absence of color resonates the directness and sincerity essential to introspection.
Folken received his BFA in Studio Art from Texas A&M at Corpus Christi in 2006 and his MFA in Printmaking from Wichita State University in 2015. He currently works as a full-time artist and adjunct instructor at Wichita State University and Emporia State University, teaching Drawing and Art Appreciation.
“I am intrigued by in-between viewpoints. In these spaces, shapes, forms, and voids start to take on other meanings; they become something else as my subconscious comes out in the work. Several monotypes, including Metastasis, express my process of self-discovery through the contemplation of a rock cliff in Lyons, Colorado. I spent time at this location, camping, hiking, and photographing the geologic formations. I learned from a local resident that a massive flood had occurred there only one year before, wiping out the entire area and destroying many homes and businesses. I began to see congruencies between the jagged edges of the cliff and my own evolving self-concept. The deep black chasms in the cliffs represent my losses and pain—my father dying of cancer, a long-term relationship ending, and feelings of regret.”
“The monotype printmaking process affords me the immediacy of applying ink directly to a blank plate. It gives me a direct link between my subconscious and the marks I make. The absence of color resonates the directness and sincerity essential to introspection. The imagery is created by manipulating the ink while it is still wet. The ink begins to dry after a while. Therefore, the image must be completed in a timely manner so that the plate may be successfully printed. This limited time frame forces me to accept initial decisions made, preventing any overworking of the marks made. It also forces me to maintain focus and remain in the moment. Thus, more of my subconscious is revealed. In the end, I strive for a unique balance between representation and expression.”