To make my pieces I use sheet steel, nitric acid and screenprinting. I learned the metal etching process while getting a degree in printmaking, but I've added some twists that are my own. My images come from my photography of the city, the forests, and the industrial areas near by. The concepts in my work generally focus around the way humans alter or change their environment, and the balance of man and nature. I also just enjoy walking through these wastelands to take pictures of architecture and old steel, so the artwork is also a record of these adventures. The industrial materials I use to make the pieces also ties the concept and image together in a unique way. The images just seem perfectly at home rendered in steel that will last a century.
The controlled oxidation process that I use to develop my rusted images on steel plates involves silkscreen, Nitric acid, and time. I edit my photos both digitally, and by hand during the silkscreen process. After the silk screened images are on the steel panels, the panels are soaked in an acid bath to trigger the rusting process. I remove the steel from the acid and leave it to sit and decay over a period of months. To finish the pieces, they are sealed with a clear top coat. The rusting process slows down dramatically, enough to preserve the image, but the process of decay will slowly change the color of the image over time.
Garrett Price is a prolific artist exploring concepts of duality in rich and diverse ways. His artwork springs from a crossroads of the natural world and one of fabrication, the man-made industrial world. Contained within Price’s artistic insights regarding this mingling of seemingly disparate worlds, is a subtle yet powerful statement on man’s relationship with nature, and the inherent beauty which can exist in the light or the dark. Price, born in San Diego, California and raised in the Pacific Northwest, is a keen observer of his environs.
The area he hails from has a pronounced history of industry colliding with abundant, untamed natural beauty. Garrett spent his formative years in small logging towns set in primeval forest. An utter fascination developed for exploring forests and lumber mills, as well as the west coast’s extensive railway system navigating along side formidable rivers, mountains and gorges. This fusion of environments seems to lie at the core of his artistic creation.
Garrett spent a portion of his adolescence in the abandoned buildings of Washington and Oregon, enhancing the structures with graffiti. He perceived his mark making as a personal amendment on the decay left by others. He brought color and composition to the muted tones of neglect. Price moved on to receive a Fine Arts degree from Portland State University in 2007, where he focused his studies in printmaking.
Through printmaking, he has branched out into working with steel, a passion he has immersed himself in for over a decade. His enthusiasm for experimenting with various processes has led him to nitric acid etching and controlled rusting, among others. Garrett has been showing his art since 2005 and the pieces are stunning accounts of nature and the man-made. The literal weight of the steel confronts the viewer, while his visual themes eloquently and with grandeur capture life’s cyclical nature. There is dynamic balance in the frozen images of his work; a crow soaring above the telephone wires, trees arching skyward by a cemetery of machinery.
Price’s visions become ghosts in cool, steely snapshots. And he puts forth the questioning to viewers of how and where we may place ourselves in the context of life’s duality. He slows these worlds down to a rust, and with this visual portrayal of time passing, we can see the beauty in both.
-David Fogg 2015