DEVRAJ DAKOJI: ON THE LIRR
December 1 – 20, 2015 Extended to January 8, 2016
Opening Reception: Wednesday, December 2; 6 – 8 pm
Closing Reception: Wednesday, January 6; 6 - 8 pm
EFA Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop is proud to celebrate the work of Master Printer and longtime workshop member Devraj Dakoji with an exhibition of over one hundred drawings. Created over eight years of transit, each drawing is rendered on a Long Island Rail Road ticket.
For over three decades Dakoji has been at the heart of the workshop’s community. A dear friend of Bob Blackburn, Dakoji has taught classes, juried exhibitions, hosted demonstrations, and collaborated as Master Printer with hundreds of artists. It is not possible to know the workshop without also knowing Dakoji’s generosity, warmth, and willingness to assist new and accomplished printmakers alike.
Dakoji has described the process of creating the LIRR drawings as an attempt to keep is hands busy over the course of years spent making little of his own work. His travels, from Manhattan to Babylon, NY, were for the most part to visit other artists for whom he collaborated as a Master Printer. With limited time and resources, Dakoji was determined not to waste even the paper on his ticket, saying it was, “the only thing I had in my hand.” Many of his drawings would become studies for larger works years down the line. But in the moment, the drawings marked Dakoji’s attempt to sustain a personal practice even while preoccupied with supporting the work of others.
In this sense, the LIRR drawings mark not only a physical transit. They document the meandering coarse of any artist’s attempt to balance creative production with the rhythms of daily life. In some cases those rhythms are literal: it’s easy to imagine the train’s motion read through Dakoji’s halting marks. But perhaps most powerful are the drawings’ accumulated weight as a collection of days. Through his role as printer, collaborator, teacher, and mentor, these works affirm Dakoji’s distinct and vital identity as an artist.
- Nora Rodriguez
Photos by Pierre LeHors