Tsilli Pines: Reports

Released Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Reports, by Tsilli Pines.
15% of the sale of this print goes to Médecins Sans Frontières.

Tsilli Pines has been working as a graphic designer for over 10 years and has designed award-winning projects for Francis Ford Coppola’s Rubicon Estate, SB Architects, and David Bowie. Her client work has appeared in STEP, HOW, and Print.

She designs and makes Jewish marriage contracts under the name New Ketubah, where she seeks to marry a traditional art form with modern design. She also runs a line of modern Judaica under the name Alef Betty.

Her art practice spans photography and works on paper. She is interested in numbers, human systems, ordinary moments, and the life of the mind. She lives and works in Portland, Oregon.

About the print:
This was another of the b-sides from my follow-up to The Figures for the New York Times Magazine. I was responding to the mood of the day - there was a sense that everything was still sliding, that we had no sight of the bottom of the financial meltdown. It was a bloodbath.

For the original artwork, I used pigment and pieces of an accounting book on rice paper with cotton thread. I actually tried a different technique with this piece - rather than using stamps to put down the pigment, I used an ink pad directly on the paper and varied the pressure to create different areas of saturation.

This is an archival ink jet print on 100% cotton 300 gsm Moab Entrada natural paper. Each print was signed and numbered by the artist.


Your artwork incorporates collage, often including tactile elements such as sewn thread. Why have you chosen collage as a medium, and what is the significance of the thread that runs throughout your work?
I love collage, because it's a conversation with the materials, and they have a life of their own. The process is largely exploratory and allows me to create work I may not have premeditated. I love the surprise I feel as the composition starts coming together - it's an amazing sort of back and forth, where you don't always feel you are the author. It just manifests.

I use thread in a lot of my work because it has all these interesting connotations that you can play with -- it's feminine, it's commonplace. It can mend, it can get tangled, it can break. I sometimes use it as a counterpoint to the subject matter, as in this series, but it's also just a really interesting textural element.

What have you been up to since we last worked together?
One of my larger-scale projects was a Passover Haggadah, which is a book read at the holiday table, retelling the story of Exodus. I've also been continuing with my regular practice, of course!

Why did you choose to pair Médecins Sans Frontières with your print?
I chose to pair my print with Médecins Sans Frontières, because we have a system of worth that doesn't always recognize the things that are worth the most. It's such important work to provide care for people, regardless of all the systems that can divide and devalue lives.

What is inspiring you these days?
I just came back from two weeks in Israel, where I finally got to meet some amazing colleagues and see what's going on in the design community over there. There is tons of interesting stuff happening and I was refreshed and inspired by that.

Tsilli's previous print for The Working Proof: Balance Sheet.

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