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Signed Print Edition of 15
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Joe Syer, Head of Urban & Contemporary Art
Onbu (blue) is a woodcut print crafted with traditional ukiyo-e techniques. The image is based on an element from a 19th century Japanese print and depicts a piggyback.
The piece fascinates with its meshing of the intricate style and subject matter of Japanese ukiyo-e with Stik’s minimal compositional style. In isolating a fragment of Hiroshige’s The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido, Stik applies his practice of compressing complex moments of vulnerability and connection into six- line figures. This piece draws attention to the underlying thematic harmony between the work of Hiroshige and Stik; both artists take interest in those at the edges of the city and the experiences that shape their encounter with the urban landscape. Onbu is without a doubt the Stik print series which brings the Japanese influence in his work into the sharpest focus.
The image recalls Big Mother in its depiction of one stickman carrying another, but is also redolent of other works by the artist depicting two figures moving hesitantly in the world together, such as Holding Hands.