a note on the process
All tonalities in these monoprints are inherent in the black & white paper itself. No color is added.
I shoot black & white film and develop a traditional silver chloride print. After the print is developed and before it is fixed, I put the print through a stop-bath then squeegee off the excess water and place the print onto a sheet of glass under a bank of incandescent lights. I begin ‘fogging’ the print by exposing the paper to light which alters the tonalities of the unfixed print. As the print continues to light fog, I ‘paint’ by applying the fixer locally, and that acts as an immediate stop to the fogging process. This is a fluid process with water, developer, and fixer constantly interacting.
After fogging is complete, I may choose to selectively tone the silver prints with permanent metal toners such as gold chloride, selenium and sulfide. These toners react chemically with the silver and create a new range of tonalities; from the reddish brown of selenium to the midnight blue of gold chloride. In addition, I sometimes use selective bleaching for subtractive tonalities.
As the process is extremely fluid, the result of this work is difficult to pre-visualize, and often I cannot see what the final tonal results will be until the print is completely dry. With this method of printing, I feel the notion of the monoprint is more or less absolute since I’m unable to duplicate the form, emotion and structure of any previous print.
I do not edition my work as these are monoprints, however, I can produce further images from the same negative, and I will designate these with a subsequent ‘letter’ such as B, C, etc.. Larger prints are designated with a double letter such as ‘AA’. I normally make between 1 and 5 prints over the course of time.
— Denny Moers