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Etching printed on handmade Dieu Donne paper with hand-painted additions.
Justin Quinn’s prints consist of forms created by repetitions of the capital letter E. They reflect the artist’s interest in the distance between reading and seeing, hierarchies of letterforms and the transfer of information.
The artist describes his use of the letter E, which is often found at the top of vision charts, is the most commonly used letter in the English language, and which denotes the natural number 2.71828, as a surrogate for all letters in the alphabet. E has replaced the other letters and become a universal letter, allowing strings of E’s to become a generic language, denying written words their use as legible signifiers, and allowing language to become a vacant parallel language; a basis for visual manufacture.
Quinn has utilized Melville’s “Moby Dick” as a source for his explorations, transcribing sections of its chapters into E’s. This story, “rich in theology, philosophy and psychosis, provides a roadmap for the work as well as a series of sublime underlying narratives”. The connection to literature, along with the multiple readings possible of the forms in the prints themselves (stretched hides, computer memory chips, etc.) convey the inventiveness of the work created by this artist.