Aardvark Letterpress celebrates 40 years with lottery-style art prints

WHEN TWO vanishing traditions collide, it can result in heated arguments or, just as likely, a work of art. Consider: To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Aardvark Letterpress commissioned 18 local artists to create images based on the once-popular Mexican card game. lotterybut with an LA touch.

Lottery, which has its roots in the Middle Ages, is similar to bingo, but instead of numbers it uses 54 familiar images on a deck of cards. As part of Aardvark’s first Fine Art Editions series, each artist has crafted a 13-inch by 20-inch drawing featuring their interpretations and visions of everyday life in the City of Angels.

For example, Cristina Padron’s “El Tiroteo” examines the harsh reality of the city with an image of a windshield shattered by a bullet against a bright yellow sun setting in a sky-blue ocean. Daniel Gonzalez’s “El Puente” shows the bridges of his childhood, which transported him across the LA River to neo-Gothic structures and the beating heart of the city.

Other artists include Andre Miripolsky, Rick von Dehl, Sammy Harkham and Richard Duardo. “They’re well-known and up-and-coming, working in graphic design, hip-hop, fine art and pop,” said co-curator Lisa Jane Persky, whose first contact with Aardvark was ordering invites. wedding which, as well as announcements and business cards. , are a core part of Aardvark’s business.

Letterpress is a term for the printing of text with movable type, in which the raised plate goes on the press and the paper is rolled on top and an impression is made in the paper. It’s an arduous process, but it creates a tactile end product with rich textures.

“The concept behind this collection was to take a 600-year-old craft, traditionally linked to the commercial world, and apply it to the world of fine art,” said Cary Ocon, co-owner of the family press located in the MacArthur neighborhood. Park.

The first 18-piece “Los Angeles Loteria” series is available for $5,000 for the full suite or $300 for individual cards. Two additional sets will be rolled out over the next two years.

Visit aardvarkletterpressfinearteditions.com for more information.

Liesl Bradner

Elaine F. Brim