Robert T, Brown, Printmaker

The Tell Tale Signs

While crossing the Place de Concord I stopped to quickly shoot a picture of striped caution tape on the ground. The translucent plastic against the historic cobblestone was anachronistic and beautiful. Since that shot, I have become a bit of a connoisseur of the caution tape. While I was initially enthralled with the gaudy red and white striped tape in France, I have become a fan of the yellow tape used here. I love the different contexts that one finds it, and the seeming universality of the practice. When one sees caution tape tied hastily around a crash site to keep away interlopers, or markers on ancient ruins to mark with precision their decent into decay one sees a universal warning of possible danger or a past calamity or simply an attempt to thwart litigation. I treat my images like artifacts in order to evoke the curious and deductive attentions of my viewer, whom I am inviting to explore and theorize about the beautiful line of the tape and what warranted its installation. Delicately it binds and warns us that a stair is loose, or that something may fall. They are caring messages left for strangers, warnings of danger and indicators of intention.

Professor Brown chairs the printmaking department and serves as director of The Southeastern Center for Printmaking at SCAD Atlanta. In the past year and a half he has participated in 5 national shows and published 7 prints with Alex Arrechea and Chakaia Booker.