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Self Portrait, Spitbite 1988

This piece was Close’s first spitbite aquatint. Usually in aquatint prints, the entire plate is dipped in an acid bath. In spitbite aquatint, the artist mixes the acid with either soap, gum Arabic or spit, and brushes it onto select areas of the plate. This gives the lines of the print a more soft, irregular and watery appearance.

Self Portrait, Spitbite 1988



1) What do you think about the fact that Close decided to use spit as a part of making this print?

2) Is spit something that you usually think about artists using when they make art?


1) In many of these prints, Close uses lots of bright colors. How would these works be different if they were all in black and white? How do the bight colors affect the interpretation of the artwork?


1) By adding his saliva, or the saliva of the printmaker, has the artist or printmaker succeeded in further inserting himself into the artistic process?


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