Technical Notes

palladium print - abstract image by Alice Garik

My work is a combination of experimental photographic techniques and hand-applied color.  To make the photographic base image, I collage negatives of photographed tattoos with negatives of flora and fauna.  For the tattoos, I photograph people’s tattoos with a 4X5″ camera and enlarge the negatives onto larger film in the darkroom.  The negatives I use for my imagery of flora and fauna are camera-free.  In the darkroom, I project a small object — a flower or a piece of seaweed, for example — onto negative film with my enlarger.  I try to allow the shapes to take form in an organic process of discovery, working with various degrees of focus in the final image.

I then combine multiple negatives of tattoos with negatives of flora and fauna.  Next, I paint palladium emulsion on handmade translucent Japanese gampi paper.  Once the emulsion has dried, I place the negatives on it and top with glass and expose the image outdoors in the sun.  It can take mere minutes in the summer or even hours in the winter for the image to form.

Depending on my ideas for each work, I may expose the work again with other negatives or paint it with water colors.  Each unique work is process driven.  At each stage I decide how the work is communicating.


Spiders Then and Now

A tattooed spider seeming to crawl into an Iris flower. The spider is from a photograph.

My work is often inspired by the close relationship between tattoos and the honoring of plants and animals by other cultures, both past and present.

At the Brooklyn Museum is a small exhibition of jewelry, pottery, hunting tools and other objects of the indigenous peoples of the Americas in the Pre-Columbian time. One of the objects is a gold Chiriqui pendant of a spider whose legs end in human hands. This pendant served as an active extension of its owner, like tattoos, and a communicator of awe for a creature of nature.

An artist whose work includes spiders is Louise Bourgeois who saw spiders as elegant, fearsome and protective.

Chiriqui spider pendant in gold.
Gold pendant at The Brooklyn Museum from Costa Rica


Tattooed New-York

Palladium work of a woman's hands with tattoos. Above her hands is a photograph of a bird in flight.

In the spring of 2017, my work was part of the exhibition “Tattooed New-York” at The New-York Historical Society. This exhibition traced the history of tattooing in New York starting with the native peoples to our times. It was curated by Cristian Petru Panaite.

My piece, “Hands Fly”, was exhibited with work that expands tattooing from the personal into art.

Tattooing was and is a part of human cultures globally.


Surrealism = Meaning

A man who has tattoos derived from Durer's woodcuts of the Apocalypse. His arm is reflected below interrupted by shapes that symbolize the Covid-19 virus that was pandemic worldwide.

In my work I take small fragments of nature and make camera-free negatives. I combine these with photographs I have taken of people’s tattoos. The fragments of flora and fauna loom larger than the tattoos of my models in my works. I do this to compare our human scale to the expanse of the Earth. I hope that people viewing my work may comprehend the magnificent life around us.


Gowanus Open Studios 2019

A man has his hand in moss in this graphically black and white print.

To recall six foot waves, meadows, tidal surges, eight inch oysters that this was the land that the Gowanus canal replaced. Fortunately, we now have human creativity surging through this area of Brooklyn.

For my part in the Gowanus Open Studios 2019, one of my works is of a man reaching with his hand to feel the softness of a meadow plant. I will display this palladium print on Japanese gampi paper and a few other works as part of GOS2019 on the weekend of October 19th and 20th, from noon to 6 PM.

The location is King Killer Studio, 69 Second Ave. near 9th Street in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn.

The link to all the artists exhibiting is https://www.artsgowanus.org.


Go See My Palladium Prints On Exhibit at BWAC

My palladium prints on exhibit at Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, BWAC.

The Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, BWAC, is exhibiting “More Art of Coney Island”, a curated exhibition for the month of August, 2022. This is a juried show selected by Alicia Degener, co-president of BWAC.

Coney Island is considered to be the poor man’s Riviera. The artists in this exhibition have works depicting the multitudes of people who enjoy Coney Island. The artists represent people of all ages. One can almost hear the sounds of people laughing, talking, listening to music, shouting and even screaming when they go on the rides offered on Coney Island. The drawings, paintings, prints, textiles, and photographs show people on the boardwalk, on the beach, in the water, playing games and particularly participating in the annual Mermaid Parade. I think the Mermaid Parade honors the feminine archetype or Venus, who in mythology rose from the sea.

I am pleased to have my palladium prints of people with tattoos exhibited in this immense wooden building, once a warehouse, and now is a place for art and people to mingle.