"Black-Irish presents, Greetings from Harlem: "The Past is Present"
by Shaun O’Rourke
Black-Irish pays tribute to an ever-evolving Harlem. For 20+ years as Harlem artists and business owners, we continue to find an unending flow of inspiration in the sights and materials from our neighborhoods above 96th street. We reimagine modern Harlem scenes and details through the lens of vintage print aesthetics, offering fresh perspectives and bridging the gap between Harlem past and present.
Drawing on historic motifs found in travel posters, signage and postcard prints, we eschew the standard format of these mediums away from specific landmarks, and hone in on the nuances, textures and often overlooked characteristics that give neighborhoods their distinct character. By layering photos of textures, graffiti, signage, and sidestreet views, we create narratives through fleeting recordings of sights, to compose our portraits of transition. A reverential nod toward nostalgia.
Recreating an analog world view through digital tools, we enhance our photographs to emulate historic period tableaus (Lithography, Rotogravure, Photo-Lith, Silkscreen, Linen Prints, etc.). Once designed and arranged, we use Chromalife 100, dye based inks, supported by Full Photolithographic Inkjet technology to produce our 30 year lightfast based prints. The resulting pieces preserve a richness and texture that blend the look of analog with the modern digital realm.
Portraits of transition. Nostalgia with reverence.