Joseph Vorgity, Across the Universe, White Line Woodblock, 2017

Joseph Vorgity

www.josephvorgity.com/home

Joseph Vorgity is a contemporary realist watercolorist and printmaker. His still life, landscape, and figurative subject matter are recongnized by strong flat areas of color with sharp lines to delineate shapes. Some themes are narrative, others have a surreal quality while many are created primarily for their beauty and visual impact.  Some of the figurative pieces are modeled after traditional religious pictures of saints and deities while others are related to figures in Japanese woodblock prints of the early 20th century. His strongest influences come from the American Precisionist Movement, the Arts and Craft Movement, and from Japonisme.

    A majority of Vorgity's woodblock prints are made in the Provincetown white line style. Multi-color prints are pulled from one matrix block with a white line separating each color shape. The prints area hand rendered with watercolor giving them the visual quality of paintings.  Each white line print has an anticipated edition of 50. Vorgity was introduced to the method in 1982 by Ferol Sibley Warthen, a major proponent of the technique in Provincetown.

    Joseph also produces traditional limited edition multi-color woodblock prints, and Japanese moku hanga woodblock prints. He studied the Japanese technique with Takuji Hamanaka, Matthew Brown, and William Paden. 

    Having first studied advertising and illustration in his home town of Philadelphia, Vorgity moved to New York City in 1978 to attend the painting program at the School of Visual Arts. Don Nice, Don Eddy, and Elizabeth Murray were influential teachers. He holds a BFA from the School of Visual Arts and later received a Master's Degree from Fordham University. Joseph was an educator on the elementary and secondary levels for 18 years. He has also worked for the wardrobe departments of Broadway and Opera productions. He was featured in an article about his woodblock prints in the October 1999 issue of American Artist Magazine. 


In order to make a print I will work from my sketches I made of ordinary people in a variety of circumstances as well as drawings from a model or some experience in my life.  My prints are about feelings and states of mood, about dreams and expectations.  Often I express them through the female figure.  I play a roleof narrator and storyteller but I encourage the viewer to approach the piece with his or her unique experience or memory. I enjoy working with relief and intaglio technique as well as monotype.  Frequently I like to combine multiple styles and methods to create my own style. Lately I have explored the art of handmade artists’ books as a flexible medium with a wide range of artistic expression and a creative way how to utilize my prints. 
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