I've been working with Aardvark Letterpress based in the MacArthur Park area of L.A. for many years, and they have always done great work. Aardvark has even done special projects with me, live printing at my Damaged art show and at an arts charity event in Miami. Letterpress is a very special traditional and beautiful printing process that is slowly fading, as other forms of printing and digital tech replace it. The charm of letterpress is that the raised relief plate is inked and then stamped into the paper leaving both the ink on the paper and a physical impression in the paper. The additional dimension and texture from letterpress give the technique a sublime elegance.
I've known Cary Ocon and crew from Aardvark for a while. Still, until Cary asked me if I'd be willing to do a limited print to commemorate Aardvark's 50th anniversary, I didn't know much about the print shop's history. It turns out that Cary's dad emigrated from Mexico and met his American mom, starting the letterpress business shortly after. Aardvark has been the family business with three Ocon generations working there. Cary loved the idea of "Welcome Visitors" as an image which related to the family history and aspirations for the American dream.
Like all businesses, Aardvark has been hit hard by Covid, so the "Welcome Visitors" letterpress is more than just a print marking an an important anniversary, but also a fundraiser to preserve an L.A. institution who are purveyors of a very special art form and craft. Buy a print to support, or send them some custom printing business!
Welcome Visitors Letterpress. 16 x 20 inches. Letterpress on cream cotton paper with hand-deckled edges. Signed by Shepard Fairey. Numbered edition of 380. $250.