Monday, June 30, 2014

The Great Wave off Kanagawa

This is the Great Wave, a famous Japanese artwork. It’s a woodcut print. The creator had to chisel each wood block to perfectly line up on each other for each layer of color. It was ten colors total. This makes me happy I do silkscreen.
By the way, the worst part of only seeing photographs and reproductions of famous works is not knowing the deal scope and dimensions of a piece. You don’t get to experience the varying thickness of paint on a Rembrandt, or the massive size of David, or how small The Great Wave of Kanagawa or Mona Lisa is.
When I was introduced to The Great Wave as a child, I imagined Hokusai slaving away at ten giant three foot x by four foot wood blocks. Nope, it's really just about 10"x14", a manageable size if you ask me. The smaller size tastes nothing away from the mastery of the works though. Bigger doesn't always mean better.