Specializing in the unconventional and often overlooked, NYC’s Boo-Hooray Gallery and 6 Decades Books present “A Slow Walk,” a solo exhibit of illustrator Jason Polan. Opening today, 5 October, the show centers on a new, previously unseen letterpress renditions of 10 sketches of Canal Street done over a 10-day period. Accompanying the prints is a selection of larger drawings and a near-comprehensive collection of Polan’s more than 100 published books and art zines.
As he walked along Canal Street from the Hudson River to the East River, Polan documented the individual places, people and things that captured his attention. Each day he created a single sketch, which have been transferred to letterpress in editions of 40. The technique lends a realistic touch to the prints, which feel and look like Polan’s original sketchbook. A single item on each print is filled-in with color for emphasis, adding impact to a “We Buy Gold” sign, or the red hand of a flashing “Do Not Walk” sign. Most of the Canal Street prints offer orderly inventories of the days’ findings, while one zeroes in on the chaos with an abstract mass of lines depicting people and objects along one of the most bustling city drags in the country.
Polan’s other screen prints, sketches, zines and books on display include some intricately detailed works and others that resemble shadow puppets akin to the art of Mark Gonzales. Polan’s work serves as a visual interpretation of his dialog with his surroundings, taking on a documentary form as he interacts with his surroundings by drawing in real time.