The ilikeprinting show at the ARTOMATIC store in Clerkenwell in April 2002

The ilikeprinting show at the ARTOMATIC store in Clerkenwell in April 2002

KAWS — Untitled

KAWS — Untitled

Espo — Super Feen

Espo — Super Feen

Dalek — Untitled

Dalek — Untitled

ilikeprinting

In April 2002, ARTOMATIC published a series of original screen-prints commissioned from 30 leading street and graphic artists. The brief was to submit an original artwork to be exclusively printed within the series on any material, but to a standard format of 700 x 500mm.

The prints were produced in limited editions, with the edition size varying between 80 – 125 — dictated by the complexity of the print process, since it was a series essentially about the nature of printing.

ARTOMATIC teamed up with New York street art store, alife, who brought in a number of American artists who went on to become very well known, including KAWS, Ryan McGinness, Espo, Dalek, Todd James, Revs, Rockin’ Jelly Bean and KR. The British artists were more traditional graphic artists — GTF, David James, Mat Cook and Julian House from Intro, Tomato’s Jason Kedgley and Mason Wells, who went onto form Biblioteque. The series also included a collaboration between Tom Hingston and Robert Del Naja and one of the first prints from Eine.

The prints were shown at a temporary exhibition in the vacant shop space next door to the ARTOMATIC store in Clerkenwell, and then sold through the store and at the ARTOMATIC concession in Selfridges.

The idea behind the series was to promote screen-print as a resurgent language for graphic artists, and though not original in its format, pre-dated the boom in screen-printed editions that emerged in London many years later.