Under The Hammer 13/17: Graffiti Theft

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Under The Hammer 13/17: Graffiti Theft

10 July 2017

For Under The Hammer’s thirteenth week, Simon Williams takes his inspiration from the American artist Robert Rauschenberg (October 22, 1925 – May 12, 2008). He was a prolific innovator of techniques and mediums and he practiced, among other things, painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, papermaking, collage and performance.

For Under The Hammer’s thirteenth week, Simon Williams takes his inspiration from the American artist Robert Rauschenberg (October 22, 1925 – May 12, 2008). He was a prolific innovator of techniques and mediums and he practiced, among other things, painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, papermaking, collage and performance.

With his new [Un]original Williams decides to highlight Rauschenberg’s image transfer technique. It is a process combining handmade strokes with texts and images from newspapers and glossy magazines. After soaking the printed image in a solvent - water in the earliest examples then turpentine or lighter fluid - Rauschenberg placed the image face down on paper and transferred it with a series of hatch marks created by rubbing a dry pen nib across the back of the image.

Graffiti Theft was made with a similar technique; a piece of cotton sheet was pressed onto a selection of graffiti artworks, from the streets of North London, which had been sprayed with solvent.