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  • Ship of Fools by John Alexander

Ship of Fools by John Alexander

Flatbed Press and Gallery

Polymer Gravure


Edition Size: 30

Image Size: 21 3/4 x 17 inches

Sheet Size: 30 x 22 inches


Condition: Pristine

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Flatbed Press is proud to present  Ship of Fools, an etching by the renowned artist, John Alexander.  Ship of Fools is Flatbed’s first annual Flatbed subscription print for the Friends of Flatbed subscribers. Friends of Flatbed (Kollwitz Circle and higher) receive an annual print with their membership.  A limited number of prints from the edition are available for purchase without membership.

John created this iconic image of the Ship of Fools as a chine collé polymer gravure in an edition of 30.  The masked politicians, corporate men, and pig-faced men in suits, clergy, kings, presidents, monkeys, and other figures spill out of a crowded boat adrift amongst dollar bills and coins. The ship is rudderless, sinking, and without an apparent captain.   John has often explored this subject matter and at this juncture of time and for this year, it seems entirely appropriate.  Based on Plato’s allegory in his Republic, the Ship of Fools subject matter has been referenced by numerous artists, writers, and musicians throughout history including Hieronymus Bosch,  Albrecht Dürer, Katherine Anne Porter, The Doors, and The Grateful Dead.  The characters in John’s Ship of Fools are unique to his interpretation of the allegory and some of the same characters can be seen in his recent paintings “Lost Souls” and “The Last Judgement.”  The Ship of Fools was printed on hand-made Kitakata paper and chine colléd (collaged) to Arches cover, a heavy French archival paper in an edition of 30.  The image on Kitakata measures 20 x 16 and the overall print is 30 x 22 inches.



The Artist

John Alexander

John Alexander (born October 26, 1945, in Beaumont, Texas) is an American painter. Alexander studied art at Lamar University in Beaumont and Southern Methodist University in Dallas. After teaching at the University of Houston from 1971 to 1978, he moved to New York.

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