Steffen Pierce

Young Van Gogh
36X24 monotype, 2014


Several of the large monotypes that I made during the past year, are all 26″ X 40″ in size. One of the aspects of printmaking that attracts me in today’s digital world, is its physicality. Ink, metal, oil and wood, no software, no hard drives. I spent many years making films and working with digital editing systems, where you are always several steps away from the actual image you are creating. In an etching or a monotype, every mark you make appears on the print, it’s direct. The humidity in the studio and the weather outside effect the image that ends up on the print. By its very nature, the process of printmaking puts you in touch with the essential things. The first printmaker I ever encountered was my mother, the artist Marianne Fisker Pierce. She was a master of the potato print and she taught me the basic techniques of printmaking that I still use today.


I live in Belmont Mass, and have always been fascinated by the history and early culture of New England. I recently completed an etching based on the story of Rip Van Winkle. A number of my larger monotypes are inspired by birds, owls and mythological figures. I worked as a filmmaker for many years and what I love about printmaking is that if you’re lucky you might be able to portray what the eye (and the camera) can’t see.