Prix de Print No. 18: dreams for the recruit 103 by Carey Maxon

  • Carey Maxon, dreams for the recruit 103 (2016)

  • Lithograph, 15 x 38 inches. Edition of 18. Printed and published by Derriere L’Etoile Studios, Long Island City, NY. €700.
Carey Maxon, dreams for the recruit 103 (2016).

Carey Maxon, dreams for the recruit 103 (2016).

When I was asked to consider being the juror for the Prix de Print, I did my best to decline. I was honored by the invitation, but anxious about the responsibility. In 30-plus years as an active collector, I’d only been part of two juries, both of which included renowned scholars, curators and artists such as Robert Storr, Terry Winters, Susan Lorence and Jodi Hauptman. In both instances, I took a back seat in the room and did my best to just be a fly on wall.

Judging the Prix de Print not only meant that was I going to be “flying solo” but that my decisions would be made from jpegs. While I’ve embraced technology in most aspects of my life, there have been just a couple of instances where I’ve had to make a purchase without seeing the actual work. Even then, I had lots of other information to work with. Yes, like this competition, my decisions have always been guided by the visual impact and my emotional response to a work. But any final decisions to go forward with a purchase have been made after I’ve dug deep into the artist’s work and the printers and publishers associated with the edition.

To make matters worse, I was given a deadline.  One of the great advantages of collecting prints is that editions usually take time to sell out, giving me ample time to contemplate the work before finalizing a decision. When I have been pushed to make a quick decision, I’ve usually passed on the project. I’ve always found comfort in knowing that at some point another impression would come back on the market. The only question is at what price?

Carey Maxon, detail from dreams for the recruit 103 (2016).

Carey Maxon, detail from dreams for the recruit 103 (2016).

Given all my trepidation, I took on this task with more weight on my shoulders than may have been merited. I probably looked at each entry ten times, and reviewed the five or six images I found most intriguing countless times. That said, from the start I was most drawn to dreams for the recruit 103. This work possesses themes that run throughout my print collection of Pop, Post World War II and Contemporary African American artists.

They say that pets take on the personalities of their owners. I think art collections do also. dreams for the recruit 103, my personality and the artwork on my walls have these characteristics in common:

– I see things in black and white, with some greys, but little color.
– I’m okay with abstraction but seek linear or symmetrical sensibilities.
– Visuals guide my emotions more than story lines.

When I was told that Carey Maxon was the artist I had selected, I crossed my fingers that I would like more than this one work. I was not only relieved and but excited when I saw her CV and more of her work. My eyes have served me well once again. Maxon is a really good artist and I love her marks.  The interview with her in the February 29 issue of Culture Island suggests she is delightful. (A quality I rarely think about in reflecting on my collection).1 Carey, you have an open invitation to visit Detroit—It’s a really interesting place and I’d love to give you a tour of the city.

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  1. “Small Talk // Carrie Maxon // Visual Artist,” Culture Island, http://www.cultureisland.com/visualhappenings/small-talk-carey-maxon-visual-artist. []