Primrose Press
~ California
(Tia Blassingame)


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Tia Blassingame: "Primrose is the name of the first metal ornament that I purchased. It is a decorative border, and I use it as a symbol of the press, but also in many pieces. Also Primrose was the name of part of a minstrel duo that worked in blackface – Primrose & West. My press work deals with beauty, but also presenting issues of racism in a visually appealing way that might disarm the viewers initial instinct to flee or avoid the topic. Primrose, with this duel meaning, seemed an appropriate name."
Artist book by Tia Blassingame  

By Tia Blassingame
Claremont, California: Primrose Press, 2017. Edition of 8 variants.

7" x 10.25" single sheet. Letterpress. Pressure printing. Backed with kozo paper. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Tia Blassingame: "These are concept prints for a new artist's book that I am working on [I AM]. They stand alone, but like everything I do they helped to move the book idea forward."

Tia Blassingame, Entropy Interview December 18, 2017, in answer to the question "Where are you focusing your next experience?": "I’m very interested in the relationship between black and white in terms of who is considered innocent, criminal. As a nation, we continue this long history of re-victimization of black victims and their loved ones, and of a justice system that does not provide justice if the crime is committed by a white American against a black American. Even in our popular culture we joke about this. We accept this as tragic, but almost inevitable. Though both are constructs, blackness does not exist without whiteness. Whiteness cannot exist without blackness. It’s fascinating how that relationship plays out like the biggest threat to white supremacy is just being, existing in this skin."

Tia Blassingame, next project I AM: "I AM is one book or two depending upon how you view their relationship. Using old family photographs and portraits, my image at various ages represents various recent victims of police brutality. The idea of a duality me, you. Victim, perpetrator was added after it was revealed that a juror in the Terence Crutcher case had voted not guilty because he was tired and hungry, and just wanted deliberations to be over so he could eat.

"(On September 16, 2016, Terence Crutcher, a 40-year-old black man, was fatally shot by white police officer Betty Shelby in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was unarmed during the encounter, in which he was standing near his vehicle in the middle of a street.)"

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Marching Lost
By Tia Blassingame
Washington, DC: Primrose Press, 2012. Edition of 40.

8.5 x 11" single sheet. Letterpress printed in Garamond BE typeface on Moab Entrada paper.

Tia Blassingame: "This broadside combines a sketch and poem to address the invisibility of the homeless and their displacement by political protests."

Bus stops transformed into bedrooms
Doorways, storefronts into living room and stage
The audience driving past

March Lost

Parked shopping carts alongside Audis and BMWs
Muttering, crying
Unheard, unseen too visible and too loud cursing

Marching lost
Found cold


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Page last update: 02.25.18


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