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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Smith: A bug’s life

Two pieces of Martin Estrada’s exhibit. Photo by Mary Zheng.

The current exhibit on display in the Smith Gallery is a beautiful collection of screen prints crafted by Martin Estrada ’15.

The exhibit focuses on bugs. In total, there are six bugs featured in this exhibit. For each bug, there are two screen prints, one black and white and the other selectively colored. The first step of Estrada’s process would be scanning the picture he wanted to use.

“Where I wanted to color, I would Photoshop that part of the image. Then there is a special machine where you use a negative to apply to the screen print … The screen print is covered with an emulsion, the liquid we use to cover it—and once the machine burns through the negative, wherever there is black it will burn through … that is how you get the screen print,” Estrada explained.

Estrada attributes his inspiration to earlier pieces he had done previously in his art class. He started off creating monotypes, which are similar to creating screen prints, except with plexi-glass and paint.

The bugs are not realistically portrayed, but depicted in an almost cartoon-ish way. The screen prints with the snails look somewhat comical because the snails have large, wide eyes and a goofy smile.

“There is a narrative between the bugs. Each [screen print] has at least two bugs and there is an interaction between each other. They might be family, a couple or friends. It’s up to the audience to decide,” Estrada said. “But some of them are very humorous and simple to understand.”

Estrada enjoys other media in addition to screen prints, including stop-motion videos.

“I’m really passionate about doing animation. I really want to work with Pixar or Dreamworks … so doing bugs right now will make it easier for me to make storylines,” Estrada said.

Two pieces of Martin Estrada’s exhibit. Photo by Mary Zheng.
Two pieces of Martin Estrada’s exhibit. Photo by Mary Zheng.
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