Silkscreen Tutorial and Andy Warhol’s Parody Painting by Elene Beridze

Andy Warhol, fka Andrew Warhola, was an American artist in the 60’s. He was the best known for his flamboyant character and was considered to be a leading figure for the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explored the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture, and advertising, but he was also involved in silkscreening, photography, film, and sculpture.

Originally from Pittsburg, Warhol worked in the advertising business as a commercial illustrator. After some of his exhibitions he started to gain recognition as an influential and controversial artist. His New York studio, The Factory, became a very popular gathering place for intellectuals, drag queens, playwrights, Bohemian street people, Hollywood celebrities, and wealthy patrons. Warhol is also credited with coining the widely used expression 15 minutes of fame. In the late 60’s he managed and produced the experimental rock bang The Velvet Underground and founded Interview magazine. He lived openly as a gay man before the gay liberation movement.

Andy Warhol has a whole museum dedicated to him in his native city Pittsburg. Many of his creations are very collectible and highly valuable, the highest price ever paid of a Warhol painting is $105 million for a 1963 canvas titles Silver Car Crash (double disaster).

Warhol was known for his silkscreening art, so I decided to do some research on how to do it. Appears that anyone can do this at home. Here’s a short tutorial:

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Supplies:

  • Screen and Frame, purchased either separately or together.
  • Photo emulsion and sensitizer.
  • A 250 watt bulb
  • Latex gloves and apron
  • A pitch black room
  • A piece of cloth you want to silkscreen
  • Squeegee
  • Silk screen fabric ink
  • Small piece of cardboard to put under the cloth

Step 1: Design Your Image

Try not to do anything too detailed for your first try, since it will take some practice to actually get it right. A simple silhouette should do.

Step 2: Coat the Screen in Emulsion

Mix the sensitizer and emulsion, cover the screen with this mixture evenly and leave it in a pitch dark room to try. This will take some time.

Step 3: Expose the Image on the Screen

Without turning on the lights, lay down the screen and frame with the screen side down on top of a black surface. Then lay the transparency down with scotch tape and move your lamp close to the screen. Aim the light bulb at the transparency and leave the room. Do not turn on any other lights, and in about 15 minutes carefully pull up the transparency.

Step 4: Clean the Screen

Spray your screen down with some water, though not too much pressure. The part where your image is will start to flake off, once it’s completely clear stop spraying it. Cover any exposed parts of the screen where there’s no photo emulsion or the image with tape.

Step 5: Print

Put the cloth you want to print on a cardboard to protect the other side (so stuff the cardboard in the shirt) and lay the screen on the part of the shirt you want to design. Pour some ink on the screen and using your squeegee run the ink up, down, left, and right a couple of times to push the ink through onto the cloth. Pull up the screen, remove the cardboard, and voila! That should be good.

Step 6: Longevity

To make sure that the image stays printed on for a while, throw in the cloth in the over on 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 seconds. That should dry out the paint completely and ensure longevity.

Step 7: Clean up!

Make sure to clean the screen as soon as you’re done designing it, or it will stick to it forever.

If you end up doing this please feel free to email me your results! I’m very interested in how it will turn out.

Thank you to Lifehacker for posting the tutorial according to which I made my shirt (which I will not post since it came out a disaster).

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It’s one of my life goals to own a Campbell’s Soup silkscreening by Warhol, so being a huge fan of his art I decide to create a parody of my own. The sizes of the frames in this painting are identical to the originals, that was the only part that I sketched out before starting to paint.

This painting was done on a 80x100cm repainted canvas, meaning there’s a different painting under the white paint. I used oil paint for this particular piece, and the background literally took 3 1/2 weeks to dry. You can imagine my frustration since I was very enthused about this painting. My piece was based on these silkscreens as seen below, I’d also like to add that these art pieces sell for $11.7 million.

In my defense, first of all, I’ve never taken any art classes in my life, so being a self-taught artist I do adore my own work. Of course I understand that it’s far from perfect, and even farther from what I wanted it to look like I’m still proud of it. Second of all, being away from my easel and paint for 5 years kept me away from painting for a while. Last time I painted something was probably 3-4 years ago, so I’m also a little rusty. Third of all, all of the brushes that I own are stiff and dried out, meaning I had to work with veeeery old and bad material, but I was also too broke and lazy to buy anything new.

After sketching out the frames, I decided to just wing it with the rest of it. I started with the red. This is what this piece looked like for about 3 days before it completely dried.

Then after adding some details and drawing the frames, I realized that it looked too plain. So I decided to put a twist on it, and changed up some frames and soup cans. It’s not noticeable in the pictures here but each of the can has a letter from my full name in the yellow circle. So basically this painting spells ELENE BERIDZE. I was pleasantly surprised how that happened without me actually planning for it.

All of the cans look 2D in this piece, since my brushes were too stiff actually create a good curve. The hardest part was actually writing the type of soup it was, so I had to improvise and make it look fun, if you look closer you’ll see that some of the soups say “Chikin Soup” or “Beefy” and “Porky”.

Everyone’s favorite can is the one that’s pouring out of the frame in the bottom left corner. Makes sense, since it’s the only one that looks like it has volume. The colors were pretty on point, but to add some zaz to this piece I decided to make one of the cans green, in the end it just came out looking sloppy. One of the cans also had angel wings but I decided to scratch it off cause it just looked cheesy.

I’m not crazy about my work, but I’m still proud of it. I hung it up in my bedroom and it’s the first thing I look at when I wake up. I’m using it as inspiration to keep working harder so I can actually create what I want at some point.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and my painting. See you in two days!

May 17, The International Day Against Homophobia vs. The Georgian Church

On May 17, 1990 a decision was made to remove homosexuality from the International Classification of Disease of the World Health Organization. The founders of the International Day Against Homophobia established the IDAHO Committee to coordinate international events that raise awareness of LGBT rights violations and stimulate interest in LGBT rights works worldwide.

The main purpose of this day is to raise awareness of violence, discrimination, and repression of LGBT communities worldwide. It gives an opportunity to engage with the media, policymakers, public opinion, and wider civil society. This day is particularly popular in Europe and Latin America.

As of 2012, very few countries have passed legislation at the federal level that include full-fledged legal recognitions of LGBT couples such as marriage, adoption, inheritance, and insurance rights, despite the efforts of the May 17 movement.

Georgia decided to take part in this international event for the first time in 2013. The gay rights activists holding the rally were met by thousands of protestors opposing homosexuality, who broke through the police cordon and got very aggressive with the protestors. Behind such aggression was The Georgian Orthodox Church. Two days before this rally, Ilia II, the head of the Church, called for banning the gay rights rally, describing homosexuality as an “anomaly and disease”. The government though, was on the LGBT side, when the Prime-minister at the time stated that LGBT individuals “have the same rights as any other social groups” a day before the rally.

The violence that took place at this rally five years ago was widely condemned by international and local organizations. See the pictures from the 2013 protest below.

With the recent protests going on (See “Bassiani Nightclub Raid in Tbilisi and the Youth Protest ‘Dance for Our Freedom‘” and “Homophobic and Hateful Crowd Opposing the ‘Dance for Our Freedom’ Youth Protest”) we were hoping that today’s event would not get violent.

But instead the LGBT community cancelled their event in Tbilisi since they were scared of backlash. Especially that the Georgian Orthodox Church decided to hold an event simultaneously on the 17th. They call it the “Day of Family Sanctity” (Geo: ოჯახის სიწმინდის დღე). This day was created to protest LGBT freedom, calling the gay lifestyle a sin and unaccaptable. As I’m writing this, the church is celebrating this new holiday. In the Kashveti Church near the Parliament building hundreds of families are gathering to get blessed, married, baptized, or more. The Kashveti Church is the main one for this event, since it’s the closest to where protests are usually held in the capital – near the Parliament on the Freedom Square. That’s where the LGBT community was supposed to gather.

The Church is planning on celebrating this holiday in every church in the capital, after which they expect for people from different regions to arrive, then are are planning on walking to the biggest church in Tbilisi, The Sameba Church (Eng: The Trinity Church).

But this is not it. To protest the LGBT rally this year, the Fascist group was also planning to gather near the Rustaveli Metro. This is the same group that showed up at the “Dance for Our Freedom” protest, cursing (see the links below the pictures above). They consider the LGBT community “dirty” and their plan was to break through the police and beat up everyone that showed up at the rally, similar to what they did in 2013.

Thankfully the leader (not the head of the group) of the Fascist gathering and one more person were arrested at the Rustaveli metro this morning. They said they were gathering at the Metro to join the church event. At the interrogation they said there were so few of them due to repression in this country. You can see a picture from the arrest below.

So it’s quite understandable why the LGBT community decided to cancel their event. History was bound to repeat itself, but this time it could have been worse. The Fascists and the Church were already enraged after the weekend of protests, and were expected to get very aggressive today.

On top of everything else, the latest news report that there’s a knight on Rustaveli. Yes, you read that right. A knight. We’re not sure what he’s protecting, but he’s apparently riding the horse around the streets of the capital. See below.

Obviously I couldn’t help myself and turned this into a meme. Click here to see.

There were numerous reports of people saying they felt accomplished that the LGBT community didn’t have their rally today. The head of the fascist group, who is also in custody, said that was their only goal for today.

But jokes on them. There will be a LGBT rally at 17:00 today. I will not be disclosing the location for their safety. Police officers are already there, the streets have been closed off.

They can’t stop us from bringing equality and freedom to our country. We are the future of this country, and we will make it brighter.

Purgatory – Short Story by Elene Beridze

I was sitting in the middle of the church garden. The sky was pitch black. All I could head was people cursing and screaming at each other, fighting their way through the police. The church was surrounded.

I was sitting in between two protests, one filled with the youth fighting for human rights, the other one opposing them. My family was waiting for me outside of this chaos, worried out of their minds. The police wouldn’t let me in or out.

So I was sitting in the garden. My phone ringing every two minutes, people calling me to make sure I was okay. They kept telling me to ask the police to let me out so I could go home. I told them they were keeping me inside for my own safety.

I was in purgatory. Neither here nor there. I was basically nowhere. In this utterly calm church garden, with two or three people besides me. I could see rows of police officers standing at every entrance. And even though I knew I was safe, even though this church garden was filled with silence and hope, I felt unnerved. I couldn’t stay in one place, I kept walking back and forth, talking to the police, telling my friends and family I was okay.

I sat down and lit up a cigarette. My phone kept ringing non stop, so I turned it off. I was sitting on the stairs of the church, and it got me thinking.

Maybe this is what purgatory is. Being in the middle of two completely different worlds, safe, in silence, being tortured by your own feeling of unsettlement. Nothing is after you, no one is harming you.

You’re just waiting. And waiting. And that’s what’s driving you crazy. Neither here or there, you know you don’t belong where you are. I wanted to go back to the youth protest to stand by their side, but the police wouldn’t let me back in. I tried to go outside but the crowd of people outside fighting against the protest scared me even more, and the police told me to stay in the garden.

So I kept waiting for everything to calm down. I saw nuns, I saw priests, I saw mothers screaming in their phones telling their children to come home. I kept smoking and thinking.

How ironic is it that I am in purgatory in church….

Special thanks to King.Kote for the picture.

Homophobic and Hateful Crowd Opposing the “Dance for Our Freedom” Youth Protest

My rule is to post every other day, but with the current political events happening in this country I’m breaking the rule. The Dance for Our Freedom youth protest continued today on the Freedom Square in front of the Parliament building, click here for yesterday’s report. Even though we kept it very peaceful, we still received some backlash.

The protest started at 15:00 (GMT+4) on Sunday, May 12th, with only a handful of people. I myself arrived there around 17:00 and climbed to the top of the stairs, since the crowd was still not big at the time. As the night progressed people started arriving, and soon enough we had hundreds of people of all ages protesting for freedom. We kept calm, we made speeches, we stood there together as one.

Everything was fine, and luckily we had the police on our side. I am more than grateful to them for keeping us all safe. Because even though were were standing there promoting peace, a group of right-wing extremists who are known for their homophobia and fascist tendencies came to oppose us.

First they tried to sneak into our protest and start fights there. The police didn’t break the line. Instead these people kept cursing us out, holding their middle fingers in the air. See the video of one of the provocateurs below.

It didn’t end there. A bunch of them came together to protest. They were all on the other side of the street being blocked by the police. But we could all see their middle fingers in the air, hear them cursing us out, telling us to leave, calling us perverts. But we raised our hands in the air showing them peace signs. We were all screaming “peace” (Geo: მშვიდობა), whistling and screaming to drown out their homophobic and hateful declamations.

The police kicked them off the premises very soon, and created a huge barricade around us. They were standing in lines of three at every possible entrance to the street, not letting anyone inside. Unfortunately a lot of our supporters couldn’t get in either. We thought everything was going great until all of these right-wing supporters came running back. With my own two eyes I saw up to a hundred people running at full speed at the police, who didn’t even budge. And there they were, fighting their way through, still cursing and screaming, holding their middle fingers up in the air. We didn’t fall for the provocation. We were standing there laughing. So to protest their hateful lifestyle, we turned on the music.

It was a rave-olution. We were achieving freedom with the freest form of expression: dance. This group of extremists wouldn’t leave. But it didn’t break our spirit, quite the opposite. Now we were more fired up than ever to stop this discrimination. We just want freedom and peace for us all.

I stayed there all day, and even though these people kept trying to break in, we stayed together as a team. Towards the end of the night, police even brought water cannons to keep the angry crowd away from us, luckily they weren’t used. We were demanding answers from the government, and only recently we got them. I’m writing this around 1 am, and the director of Ministry of Internal Affairs spoke live in front of the crowd about an hour ago. He apologized for what happened at the nightclubs, he said that they will do everything to keep peace, to keep fighting drugs, and to make everyone comfortable in this city, regardless of their sexual orientation, religious views, or anything else. He only asked us to put the protest on hiatus for the coming week, to go to work, and to stay away from aggression. We agreed to these terms, and told them if our demands aren’t truly met, we will continue the protest next Saturday. Hopefully it won’t come to that.

I want to thank everyone that was there, I want to thank everyone that kept fighting for our basic human rights. The people won, the government won, and hopefully we can put an end to this hateful lifestyle that the other side is promoting.

This is a rave-olution for our freedom, peace, and equality.

Bassiani Nightclub Raid in Tbilisi and the Youth Protest “Dance for Our Freedom”

On Friday night, May 11th, the Georgian government sent in a fully armed SWAT team into the most popular night clubs in the Capital. They called it a “drug raid” which occurred due several young adults passing away from drugs over the last couple of weeks.

These raids happened in Bassiani, the second most popular club in all of Europe, and Gallery. The clubs have existed for years and have gained international acknowledgment due to the free spirit and the music. I’ve personally heard a lot of people say that they “..felt more comfortable at the club than at home.” Since I haven’t lived in Georgia for a while I never had a chance to party at the club, and funnily enough this Friday was supposed to be my first time. All of my friends had bought the tickets already and we were planning on going there around 3am. The raid happened around 12am.

During this raid the SWAT team had everyone in the night club down on the floor with their hands behind their heads before kicking them out of the venue. Some people who were in the club or went to protest in front of the club got arrested, one of the owners also was taken into custody and the government never made a comment about this situation. We watched a portion of this on live TV the same night, and the shots were so shocking that the youth decided to throw a peaceful protest the very next day.

On May 12th at 15:00 (GMT+4), the youth gathered on the Freedom Square in front of the parliament building. I was there from the beginning, and was amazed at how well we handled this situation. With numerous speeches given by citizens of all ages and the enormous support coming from the people standing there as one. The number of people kept increasing as time went by. Our demands were to stop unnecessary violence and to give people the freedom we deserve.

I heard a lot of conspiracy theories at this protest, some saying that this was staged by the right-wing to stop Georgia from joining the EU and to go back to Russia, some even said that all of this happened because of money and the thriving business which was harmful to other businesses, or due to homophobic and backwards people considering clubbing a disgrace to the youth. I don’t know what the actual situation was, all I know is that the drug dealers they wanted so much were not arrested at the club, but somewhere else. All of the violence from that night was unnecessary and the government yet has to make a comment about this.

The protest started small, we were standing on the pavement right in front of the parliament building. There was a lot of police standing by the road keeping the protest tight. As more people started to gather, I started to worry about some violence from the police. But the protest organizers kept the crowd very calm with their speeches, keeping us fired up but also reminding us that this was a peaceful protest. Soon enough, one of the speechmakers asked the police to let us take over one side of the street. The people started moving in towards the center, and amazingly enough we got a hold of half of the street with police backing away very peacefully. In gratitude, we gave them the loudest cheer and a loud applause. Now a line of police officers was standing in the middle of the street.

In this picture you can see a long line of police officers (the men wearing all black with a yellow stripe) right next to the cars. This happened between 17-18:00.

But it was only the beginning. More people showed up standing up for our freedom, and even though there was some provocation from the right-wing, we managed to keep the protest very peaceful. There was a man there walking around swearing at the youth, and a fight almost broke out, but the young girl that was making a speech started yelling to put our hands up, so the whole crowd stood there in silence and held up their hands. The fight stopped. The girl kept reminding us “they will curse at you, but we will not curse them back. They will hit you, but we will not hit them back. We are here to show that we deserve our freedom, and that we will do not condone violence. We are standing against everything that happened that night, and we will not become one of them by hurting each other. We are one.” The provocateurs soon left the protest.

As the crowd grew larger, around 19:00, one of the organizers made the most heartwarming speech. He said “We are here for a reason. We are here to show everyone that we can achieve peace without violence. We are standing here for our freedom to express ourselves, to love whoever we want, to stand together as a team and help this country grow. We are asking the police to give us the whole street. We are here peacefully and do not want to fight. So lets all raise our hands, and start moving in. We are all your children, so help us make this country a better place.” So we did. Hundreds of people with both of their hands raised, started moving towards the police, all of us holding our breath. No one knew what the outcome was going to be. We could have been beaten, we could have all been arrested, but we kept walking with both of our hands up in the air.

And the police left. They all backed away and let us get a hold of the whole street. The people started to applaud, scream, whistle, thanking the police. We managed to achieve this without anyone getting hurt, and even though it’s seems like a small step, it was a very important one. We paralyzed the whole city. We proved that violence is not necessary to achieve our goals. All we need to do is stand together as a team, and make this small country a better home for all of us.

That’s when the DJ’s who were supposed to play at the club the night of the raid came out. They started to play music, the crowd stated to dance, we started to party for our freedom. Colorful smoke in the air, people cheering, jumping, the protest took a completely unexpected turn. We were partying in the streets right in front of the Parliament.

And the party went on for the whole night. More and more people started to show up, and with the whole city paralyzed we were dancing for our rights. We were holding up our phones and hands in the air, to show the government that we’re here. And we’re not leaving until we get what we deserve, answers, and our freedom.

We were standing there in the rain. We were a team. We were showing everyone in this city that with love and support we were going to achieve what we want and what we deserve. They can’t take away this country from us, it belongs to our generation. We are going to make a change, and we are going to help this country grow.

I left around 12am because I was exhausted, hungry, and drenched from the rain. But a lot of people stayed there all night. Some even brought out tents to keep the protest going. As I’m writing this, people are still standing there, and I’m planning on joining them soon.

I believe in this country. I believe in the people. I believe that we hold the power. I believe that we will make a change with love, peace, and some deep house music.

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Special thanks to King.Kote for some of the pictures in this post.