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Archival Digital Print.
The entire work consists of seven individual drawings representing one week (Jan 15-21 2017) from the “First Radio Headline (and then HeadlineS) Heard of the Day Drawing Project.” (Click "More Images" to see the entire horizontal strip of seven days (small) followed by much larger images arrayed vertically). As a radio addict and news junkie, I am interested in how we obtain information and how it is filtered. As an artist, I am challenged by changing formats, unexpected combinations, and working with image and text. For this series of drawings I record the first genuine news items I hear on the radio (generally NPR sometimes augmented by other stations, Amy Goodman) each day. When travelling I use the local stations and attempt to include regional news as well as world stories. The headlines have ranged from the significant to the mundane, although the tone definitely became darker after electioneering started to predominate. I research online and then rely on screenshots from videos and sometimes photo stills for reference. Every day for the last 650 plus days, I have made a small (somewhere between 5” square to 7”) gouache/watercolor drawing with an embedded headline. The 1st drawing was made on 11/22/15; they went online on 1/1/16, posted daily on Instagram and Twitter. They are often retweeted by the reporters whose headlines I am quoting. This project was slated to be completed on 12/31/16, however the state of the world (aka the election of Trump) has made it impossible for me to stop. When I started I had no idea I was to be documenting a monumental trajectory in American history. Soon after the election the plethora of news and possibility of visual/ contextual juxtapositions propelled a change. When Trump insulted Congressman John Lewis on the same day as the announcement came that Ringling Bros. Circus was terminating its run I realized that the project needed to evolve into including multiple headlines (cavorting circus elephants et al.) The project has expanded to the “First Radio HeadlineS Heard of the Day Drawing Project,” with two or three headlines (and occasionally five or six) and related images depicted.
Engler’s work is documentary in nature. It has ranged from; drawing everything she owned to depicting the contents of over 60 different women’s bags. She spent 5 years drawing US tax expenditures including weaponry used in Iraq, 25,000 of the casualties there (civilian and military) as well as the contents of a fire engine and a NYC virology lab. Time spent in Antarctica as a recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Antarctica Artist and Writer’s Program Grant. Most recently Engler finished a drawing of the entire length of Broadway in Manhattan, entitled A Year on Broadway. This work was featured on CBS Sunday Morning this June. She is currently making daily paintings derived form the news in a project called the First Radio Headline Heard of the Day Drawing Project. In 2012 she received a Gottlieb Grant. She is a MacDowell fellow (2003, 2017), is a fellow of the Civitella Ranieri Foundation and has been awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant in drawing. Her art has been written about in Art in America, The New Yorker Magazine, The New York Times, and numerous other publications. She has exhibited throughout the US and in Europe. http://www.eliseengler.com/