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John Melville

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Having grown up in Detroit, I feel an attachment to the automobile. Even though Detroit steel was in my backyard, I always preferred the cars of Europe because of their other worldliness and design sensibility. Postcards From the Autobahn is a series based on these cars.

It?s geometric abstraction done with an imperfect precision using ink and gouache on found images. Having worked in Photoshop and Illustrator myself, the process here is a reversal from the archetypical contemporary graphic design that gives us the expectation of flawless perfection in every visual effort. This flawless perfection, I feel, has potential to lead us to flawless boredom.

My process is simple, I begin with German postcards that are new reproductions of vintage advertising. I antique the cards to let the paper catch up in age with the original image. I then draw lines using rapidograph pens, add gouache, diamond dust or possibly shredded currency. I tend to either make the featured image from the original graphic pop or will completely obscure it with ink or paint. I try to get the feel of the movement or lines of the original image and either mimic it or contradict it.

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