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3-D For the Mind

(December 2008) posted on Mon Dec 22, 2008

Artist exhibits contradicting images and controversy with lenticular prints.


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Throughout her career, photographer and installation artist Nancy Reddin Kienholz has not been afraid to make a bold statement. And while her previous works were a dual effort with her late husband, her first solo exhibit is no exception. For this exhibit, which took place at the LA Louver Gallery in Venice, California, she turned to lenticular technology to make her provocative and thought-provoking works stand out even more.

Produced with the Texas Collaborative Arts Studio (www.texascollaborative.com) in Houston, the Kienholz project involved creating two sets of lenticular images. In the first set, 31 different images combine two religious, political, or controversial photographs. For instance, Christ on the cross morphs into Santa Claus, a yellow brick or gold paved road transforms into a road of guns, and a group of bowling pins turns into women covered in burqas. The other set of images consists of a series of 25 handwritten words that shift from one word to its opposite. Speaking on her exhibit and the decision to create lenticular images, Kienholz says, "There are just some issues...that I want to put a lens-literally and figuratively-over the choices we make, and what it means to make those choices."

From a client referral, the Louver Gallery hired Fort Worth, Texas-based print shop RWC Digital (www.rwcdigitalgraphics.com) for the printing of the exhibit. The print shop received the images as TIFF, JPG, and PSD files and then adjusted these and made image scaling and alignment corrections in Photoshop. Using a custom in-house program, the shop then interlaced the various images. RWC then made a GIF animation for low-res previews of the interlaced images.

For final output, the shop used a combination of its 44-inch Epson Stylus Pro 9800 and 60-inch HP Designjet 5500 printers, to produce the images on Epson Premium Luster Photo Paper media. The HP was utilized when the print was too large for output on the Epson.

The word images measured 18 x 18 inches, and the 31 other images ranged in size from 30 x 30 to 40 x 60 and 48 x 96 inches. One image, a B1 bomber dropping religious icons, was produced as a multi-panel print. Approximately 200 square feet of graphics were produced in total.

The shop then adhered a 20 LPI Toppon or a 20 LPI Microlens lens (varied with the image produced) to each image to create the lenticular effect. Phil Gottfried, art director at RWC, explains that they produced the prints as the art came in, "so it took two or three days to complete each set of images." The graphics were installed at the LA Louver by a team of installers at the museum.

While Gottfried admits the print turnaround time was tight, he says that the project was enjoyable to work on overall. "This was a very smooth project." Gottfried says. "Nancy was very receptive to suggestions, and both Dan Allison [at the Texas Collaborative Art Studio] and Nancy are almost as crazy about lenticular as we are at RWC."

In business since 1996, RWC specializes in large format, P-O-P, vehicle graphics, textile printing, tradeshow graphics, and of course, lenticular printing, which it has been doing since the company's inception. The reason the shop got into lenticular printing? It’s simple, says Gottfried. "We just like 3-D."


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