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(American, b. 1962)
Engraving from four plates on four sheets of paper (three joined); paper folder
Sheet: 49.4 x 61.7 cm (19 7/16 x 24 5/16 in.); Platemark: 37.8 x 52.8 cm (14 7/8 x 20 13/16 in.)
Gift of friends in memory of Ann Bassett and Tom Johnson 2003.15
© Courtesy of the Artist and Mary Ryan Gallery, New York, NY
Raftery depicts the habits and mores of average Americans- the ordinary events of modern life-often humorously. "Shopping for a suit is a cultural remnant, it is an event in a man's life," the artist explains. "I was thinking about male vanity." Raftery presents such mundane situations as straightforward, old-fashioned narratives, allowing the story to unfold in a series of related scenes.
Engraving is exacting and difficult, so few artists today choose this printmaking method. Raftery, however, has mastered the art of cutting grooves into a copper plate. Since paper currency is printed from metal plates engraved in the same way, he likes the implied connection between the technique and monetary power and authority.
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