Past / Present
Brent Bond / Santo Press
A Retrospective (1995-2010)
Sometimes you can tell what someone does for a living by the type of energy they carry in their body. When I met Brent Bond, in 2008 at Segura Publishing, I knew he was a printmaker.
Brent worked with me to produce a limited edition print commissioned by the University of Notre Dame. He made everything clear and simple, all I really had to focus on was drawing. When I arrived to Segura’s in Tempe, to sign the edition, the prints were set up and ready. Brent handed me several finely sharpened pencils and a white eraser. He called out numbers, and I signed 25 prints. Helpful. Efficient. He also took me through the well-organized studio and finally he showed me prints from their collection. Yes, *printmaker qualities emanated from the man.
You can imagine my surprise when I walked into Modified Arts last week, on the last day of his show Past and Present… and saw Brent does so much more. He’s not only a Master Printer and the proprietor of → Santo Press, he’s also a multi-media artist.
The exhibit was separated into two main areas…
Master Printer / Santo Press
A variety of wonderful relief prints filled the entrance: in color, in black ink, on white stock, and on off white. I recognized many of the artists including Veronica Villanueva, Andrea Evans, Dominic Miller, and Donna Atwood. Established in May of 2009, Santo Press collaborates with regionally and nationally recognized artists to create limited edition fine art prints. They specialize in the small-scale, relief print. Brent refers to works as both high and low art, high quality / low price. The catch phrase for the press, What a Relief!, expresses more of his wit.
Click on image to see more prints.↓
As I move through the entrance area, to the other side of the gallery…I’m pleased to see Brent’s multi-media art work. One slow look around the space I note prints, photography, assemblage, and installation. I recognize everyday objects mixed in with religious iconography. I appreciate titles, many of them are humorous, and they help me to recognize influences.
A few titles, with images below:
- The Three I’s in Narcissistic
- For the Love of Peace and a Piece of Love
- The Fashion of Worship and the Worship of Fashion
He toys with size, image, material, color, and word, the sacred and the not so sacred. He does so with rich imagination and intelligence. He creates, questions, comments and he informs.
Reserved Seating, 1997
Reserved Seating (above) shows three (out of a set of 12) desks. Brent has carved/printed images right onto the desk tops. I would guess he’s inked them directly and wiped them, just like one might ink and wipe a copper plate.
The text along the back of the chair inform me of the image. Justa and Rufina, St. Thomas Garnet, and St Benjamin, martyrs and saints.
St. Thomas Garnet
Directly across the room another work catches my eye, framed book pages strung from the ceiling by a cadmium red tie.
Selections from "The Pages" - 1999
Broad areas of text are lined out and content is altered.
In another area is an assemblage titled Our Lady of Sunday Morning Savings (below). It incorporates coupons into what looks like a religious relic of hanging scapulars. Right now I wish I had a detail to show you, I liked it so much. I even like the shadow.
Our Lady of Sunday Morning Savings, 1998
Brent Bond is a Master Printer and he’s an object maker…photographer, assemblagist, and business proprietor. The exhibit showcased prints from his publishing company Santo Press, and 45 of his own works that spanned over 15 years of time. Brent says of his work…
The self-imposed challenge is to create works that have the power to engage the viewers’ mind as much as their eyes. The conceptual approach involves questioning visual and cultural perceptions, social critique and commentary through satire and humor, and the re-functioning/reinterpreting of popular and religious visual iconography.
Bravo Brent, it seems you succeeded on all counts.
Oh…add new father to the mix. He very recently had his second son. And there’s so much more…take some time and go through is website, cause he’s one busy, talented, and ambitious artist.