Fatherless is a collective of artists, printmakers, designers, educators and graffiti writers from Rockford, Illinois. They tell us how it all begun, what inspires them and their making process:
Started as venture between Corey Hagberg, Jarrod Hennis, Javier Jimenez, and Greg Lang in the Spring of 2010, we began to plan seasonal shows in which we created screen prints together, live, during the event. When an idea came about to feature a guest artist for a series, we chose a local artist and instructor of printmaking to work with, and it was a natural fit. Dave Menard became a full time member following that show. Influences are many and certainly captured by what we have coined as a “Rust Belt Power Pop” aesthetic.
We are not 5 artists that work “under” the name of Fatherless… a Fatherless print is made by 5 artists. The name was decided upon based on the notion that we each member, although responsible for bringing individual styles and influences to the table, will work on each and every print made, but through a process that may lead to working independently with each other’s images. And since every print is different, they simply stand alone and are not claimed by an individual artist.
Our finished pieces aim to mirror the chaotic and detached sense that is communicated in our current consumer driven social climate. A good portion of our imagery is re-contextualized from our current throw away culture to create a finished piece. We once had a show that was centered around our community being ranked as the 9th most dangerous city in America. It was an opportunity to take a negative and turn it into inspiration. Our fellow artists, as well as large portion of the community, embraced our campaign and took pride in our example by wearing a T-shirt that reflected the ranking.
We like to describe our collaboration as a “Visual Mix-tape of Creative Shenagination.” The process typically goes down by each of us working on, collecting, and or creating a database of images over a period of time. We meet and sort through which ones to use for our next round of printing, make any additions, alterations or adjustments between and before output to film. Javier and Jarrod both have screen printing shops where the screens are processed. We then hold print sessions either at the college where Dave corrupts the minds of future artists, or at Jarrod/Javier’s shops. The finished prints are each unique as to who may have used what screen, which colour, in any random order. There may be a theme or series developed at a time, but along the way, the prints are worked with very few restrictions or limited direction. The only rule is to make sure no two prints are alike. We certainly find techniques or image combinations we tend to like more than others, so in order to avoid duplication, each member typically works on 5-10 pieces per screen use. Then on to another image/colour. Most images used in a series are retired from future use. Only a small few have been burned again to a screen to feature in a second series. Coloured paper selections are another excellent way to keep our works separate between series.