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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.)
© Courtesy of the Artist and Mary Ryan Gallery, New York, NY
Gift of friends in memory of Ann Bassett and Tom Johnson 2003.15
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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