WRITTEN BY: LUCIA PASQUALE
PHOTOS BY: DAVID BENHAIM
Tucked nicely into a quaint corner of the Hayden Tract neighborhood of Culver City is The Lapis Press. Sitting around the table of their library room, surrounded by a brilliant collection of art books, academy awards, and original prints by founder, Sam Francis, it is evident that this is a place where great creative minds come together. Needless to say, we were delighted to have the opportunity to chat with the women behind the printing production themselves, printmakers Christianne Hanych and Amanda Goch. Both women got their start in digital printmaking through photography and traditional darkroom printing. Their great technical skill and passion for imagery led the two women to Lapis.
“For me,” said Hanych, “digital printing is a very democratic process for making prints—good quality printers come in a variety of sizes and price-points. It was an obvious choice for my own work when I no longer had easy access to a darkroom. I didn’t think much about it until it became obvious that there are a lot of people who can’t wrap their heads around it. That’s when I realized that understanding the technology had become an asset, a skill, that could be used practically as well as creatively.”
“I think the 10 years I spent printing in the darkroom helped me better understand how to make good inkjet prints and how to better use the tools available when working digitally. I came to the digital lab out of fascination with the history of the technology and wanting to know more.” added Goch.
Goch and Hanych have worked with a variety of artists such as Barbara Kruger, Mona Kuhn, Ed Ruscha, and most recently, Analia Saban.
The ability these women have to take the vision of the artist and translate it into print is extraordinary. Hanych described it as a language spoken between artist and printmaker, a way of coming to a common understanding of how you remember an image, how you believe it should have looked, and then seeing how you can change it. “It’s about what you can do with what is real versus what is artistic/laid on top of the image. A translation from point A to point B.”
“Each artist brings their own energy into the studio,” noted Goch, “We are always problem solving. That is the nature of being a printmaker, looking for solutions, finding ways to make things work.”
“I think problem solving is a part of art and creating to begin with. Problems to chew on, what perspectives to take,” says Hanych. “Good art is not specific. [Good art] allows the viewer to bring their own baggage to the work.”
At Shreebs we couldn't agree more!
Shreebs: How do you take your coffee? Brew Method?
Christi: Hot coffee with cream. Pretty simple right now.
Amanda: I make matcha tea most mornings. Occasionally I’ll have a cortadito.
What is key to your process?
C: I would say listening is key. The technical stuff is fun for me, I do like to experiment. Experimenting for me is food for the soul. But I would say the key to collaborating is listening.
A: Time, patience, having fun with the process.
Where would you like to live?
C: If I could go anywhere else I would say a cabin in the mountains.
A: Somewhere where water meets forest. The Lost Coast. And Amsterdam, I’ve always wanted to live there.
On your deathbed, last meal in LA?
C: Sushi. My friend and I often celebrate at Matsuhisa and it’s always pretty special.
A: Because the Wind, one of Daniel’s meals. My boyfriend the chef.
Name something you love, and why.
C: Winston, my dog. He comes to work a lot. He’s a Welsh terrier and a character.
A: Swimming in the ocean. It’s incredibly refreshing. I love the salt water, feeling like a buoy, and being able to look back and forth between the shore and horizon.
What is your dream project?
C: I think in some ways I don’t want to put a pin in it because I love the variety, I love new challenges. So, I think my dream project is the thing I haven’t thought of yet.
A: I, too, don’t know if I have a dream project. Ask me again in a few years. I know working on this project with Analia Saban has kind of felt like a dream project. It’s definitely been challenging and very exciting.
ALEXANDRA GRANT AND KEANU REEVES, SHADOWS
Where can we find your work?
C: Everything, all the works, have been jointly acquired by LACMA and The Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts at Hammer Museum. The Venice Family Clinic has prints that we’ve made with Matthew Brandt and Analia Saban available for sale and for a good cause too.
A: We also have open houses at Lapis a couple times a year and most of our editions are on our website,