Silkscreen art is also known sometimes as serigraphy or screen printing, and it is a certain type of stenciling technique that is used for surface printing. The way it works is that a design is stencilled with a mesh or any other kind of thin, strong, porous material that is stretched across a frame. Then paint or ink is applied through this stencil, with a differen screen for each colour layer. It is a technique which arose at the beginning of the 21st century and the name comes from the fine mesh silk that would serve as the support behind the stencil screen.
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Silkscreen & Pop Art
Screen printing is probably still most readily associated with pop art and its pioneers are towering figures such as Andy Warhol and James Francis Gill. Before the explosion of pop art, screen printing had been a technique which was used by some but it had been mostly reserved as a trade secret. At the same time, many artists felt uncomfortable with the mechanised idea of this method of creation. It was thought that the additional layer of mediation between the artist and their work meant that the artistic process was less pure.
Pioneers in the field of what became pop art, however, understood that mechanisation was a more widespread phenomenon which could not be avoided. Therefore, it was better to make use of the tools and processes of this new world and direct them towards aesthetic goals.
Bright and Vivid Colours
It is certainly not true to say that there is any less artistic craft needed in this method of creation which has been so influential in pop culture. The crafting of the stencils and the isolating and mixing of the colour is in fact an artform in itself. It will all be done by hand and it is a painstaking process. Unlike giclée printing, screen printing cannot be manipulated digitally. This means that it has to be right from the beginning. As such, artists can take months to carry out the process correctly.
There are rewards to this, however. For instance the ink used in silkscreen printing is usually thicker which results in more vivid and vibrant colours. This much will jump out at you if you have had a look at the range of screen print art that we have available in this fun and bright collection.