Printing Inspiration from a decade ago...

I spent a chunk of time in Mexico City during the summer of 1994 working on an art installation with friends and feeling out how it could be to carve out one's life outside the US.  The D.F. was the most cosmopolitan city I had visited at the time.  My closest friends were from Germany, Argentina, Canada and Mexico.  The city turned my expectations on their heads and provided me with an overwhelming influx of people, art, making, and adventures.   It was at a time when the US National Endowment for the Arts was threatened with collapse and funding in Mexico was overflowing to any and all.  It was well before the present day feelings of Mexico as an unsafe place and at when it seemed the worst thing that could happen to you was being whistled at rudely on the street.  We stayed safe.  We felt free.  And our huge rooftop apartment in the Doctores neighborhood was only about $400 a month.  I shot film.  I had no cell phone.  My Spanish-speaking was the best it has ever been.  Days consisted of sleeping in, shopping at the nearby vegetable and fruit market, a liquado from the stand on the corner, languorous breakfast preparing and rooftop lounging, heading out into the city to work on the project, dinner out or cooking on the rooftop, then out to bars, shows, galleries, parties, etc....Repeat.  

A side-project of the installation was creating all of the press materials and propaganda for the opening.   We silk-screened stickers, plastered ads on alley walls and had posters letterpress printed by a shop that specialized almost exclusively in lucha libre posters.   It was here that I had a resurgence of my love of type, ink and making.   I have forgotten the name of the shop, but it was a treasure trove of type, large format presses and straightforward print for the masses. It was beautiful, and messy--and I loved it.  Type stored in piles.  Ink scooped onto presses by the cup-full.  The clicking and whirring of giant machines.  And the result--posters, propaganda, information, instruction, knowledge...for the people.