• Print


Timothy Musso

Timothy Musso

2008. Assistant Professor of Art, M.F.A. California State University Long Beach 2007

'No one, I assume, would deny that all the knowledge we have is a result of our asking questions; indeed, that question-asking is the most significant intellectual tool human beings have.' -Neil Postman
Tim Musso creates woodcut, wood engraving, and serigraph prints. In these prints he explores the relationship of letterforms to nature and to the spoken word. He has exhibited his prints nationally. In addition to his printmaking activities Tim has worked in the graphic design field in Spain and the west coast of the US on accounts including Pepsi Co., Doritos, Dannon, and Lays. His design work now focuses on typeface and book design including artists books.

Photo Gallery




Hiking in remote areas has a tendency to slow down time and offers a person

a chance to really observe various natural forms. Removed from society and

traversing the San Bernardino, Sierra Nevada, and Cascade mountain ranges,

I became acutely aware of the power of nature to survive in harsh conditions.

Trees growing out of solid granite on a windy mountain pass at 12,000 feet

seem to invite one to contemplate this power. Not all trees survive long in

these conditions. Their carcasses litter the high mountain areas. Tipped-over

with roots pointing skyward, the dead trees stand like tombstone monuments

attesting to the fragility of life. In this setting one cannot help but question our

relationship to the tenacious life forms of these mountainous regions. To

explore these ideas I have turned to investigating the ecological and botanical

cycles that support this unique landscape.

Just as there is a strong link between humans and trees via respiration and

the transference of oxygen and carbon dioxide, there is also a symbiotic

relationship between trees and the soil. Within soil reside small life forms

called mycorrhizae that have a delicate web-like structure composed of

many fine filaments that help them consume dead plant matter. In addition

to decomposing soil, the mycorrhizae tap into the root tips of living trees

and aid the tree in absorbing water and nutrients. In return, the mycorrhizae

get energy and nutrients that the tree produces through photosynthesis. On

the exposed slopes on the crests of the mountains the strong rigid roots of

a tree can last centuries once exposed to air, but the fine networks of the

mycorrhizae dry up and die instantly.

It is through developing images in woodcut, wood engraving and serigraphy,

that I attempt to call attention to the hidden and often subtle beauty of this

delicate relationship. As an artist working the wood, I mediate the

transformation of the block to the final print as the lung mediates the

exchange of gases or the mycorrhiza mediates the transference of water

and nutrients. In the resulting multitude of prints, certain forms repeat and

are recycled constantly demonstrating the plurality of these typically unseen

natural processes.

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