Pop-Hop Books & Print
in Latest News17 Sep 2014 | 0 Comments
A Place Where Books & Print Invite Creativity, Community And Invention
On the main street of a Los Angeles neighborhood called Highland Park, you’ll find Pop-Hop Books & Print, a book shop and print studio run by Robey Clark. Opened in May 2012 and nestled between a coffee shop and a bar along York Boulevard, the shop provides the community with a unique collection of books, handmade wares and workshops ranging from creative writing to screen printing. Robey wanted to create a space that allowed for cross-pollination and could feature a rotating line-up of artists, writers and performers. He envisioned an event space flexible enough to accommodate a musical performance one night and a zine writing workshop the next while also providing a space where the community could share ideas, create, write and print-all under the same roof.
In the back of the shop is Robey’s print studio. It’s where he has his exposure unit, wash-out sink and a dedicated area for his press and screens. A graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, he was attracted to screen printing while still in school. He’s designed and screen printed posters and textile goods for local musicians and merchants but it wasn’t until he had his own space at the shop that he felt comfortable pushing the medium. His technique resembles that of a painter more than a printer, producing unique, one-of-a kind pieces each time he prints. It’s a technique he’s been able to refine since the shop opened.
“I first tried Permaset inks because my partner was pregnant so I wanted non-toxic inks and cleaners. Her father is a toxicologist and reviewed the inks’ contents to make sure they were safe for indoor use. The inks got the green light. Now they’re the only ones I use”. Robey likes the vividness of the Permaset inks. “They look like pure pigment on canvas,” he says.
Robey likes to prints multiple patterns on top of one another, creating large moires of bold, bright colors. He uses the squeegee as if it’s a large paint brush, determining as he goes where the next color or pull will be. For a medium that normally depends on tight tolerances and alignment, Robey uses screen printing to achieve original artwork that has an array of layers, colors and patterns.
Robey prints on a variety of substrates including tote bags, small 12”x12” wood blocks, doors and a series of jacket covers for sketchbooks that are laser-cut, sewn and come with a pencil ready for writing (a product of fellow RISD classmate Chika Eustace through her brand R+L Goods.)
Robey’s work pushes the norms of screen printing as a medium. While he
builds up the canvas, layering different colors and patterns on top of each other, his hand is still present in each completed print. Robey uses screen printing as a tool to experiment and create work that cannot be easily labeled. He redefines what we normally expect from the medium. It’s not surprising that this happening in the very space he envisioned as cross disciplinary and open for invention.