Xavier Viramontes

I come from a painting background and I switched to printmaking more than 22 years ago. Though I still do paint occasionally, the main body of my work is in the form of multiple plate etchings. I switched to multiple plate etchings because I found I could work more quickly on my image ideas and when all the plates were completed, I could print a small edition. In painting, when the painting is done, you only have one painting. In etching you could print multiple copies.

The main theme of my work continues to be my family. I grew up in a Catholic Mexican/American family and we were exposed to a number of traditions unique to our culture and to our church. These prints that deal with my upbringing I call my 'Serious Work'. I also do prints with less serious themes such as cowboys, dogs and cats. I call these prints my 'fun' prints.

All my images are made by combining 4 zinc plates. I have one plate for each of the primary colors (yellow, red, blue), plus a black plate which prints the line drawing. Each plate is printed one after another with the black plate (key plate) printed last. This combination of plates allows me to get a full range of colors along with a full range of drawing and textural effects.