Experimental printmaker and performance artist Sto Len presents RUNOFF, a show of recent mono prints that explore his appropriation of the 12th Century Japanese Suminagashi marbling process. Oil paint, spray paint, dirt, and even wastewater runoff and pollution act as printmaking materials that are used on paper, wood and canvas. Working en plein air from a rowboat, Sto marbles the pollution floating in some of the most toxic bodies of water in America.
Suminagashi or “floating ink,” is a paper marbling process that originated in Japan by Shinto monks in the 12th century. This process produces mono prints by painting patterns directly onto the surface of water with ink, laying down a piece of paper, and removing after a few seconds. This meditative exercise captures in visual form a moment in time when nature bonds with the human spirit. Artist Sto Len appropriates this technique in various forms of printmaking with water that he calls, Tsunaminagashi. Renouncing the fussiness historically associated with marbling, Sto’s work instead celebrates chaos and nature. Layers of oil paint, vegetable oils, spray paint, dirt and various debris is built up on the water surface in large kiddie pools, wooden trays and buckets for hours and sometimes days while preparing a print.