Manos Sucias / Dirty Hands (2018)
Manos Sucias/Dirty Hands is an artist's book collaboration between poet Seán Monagle, book artist Paulette Myers-Rich, and Greg Slick. The book features letterpress printed poetry, with pigment printed illustrations on Zerkall book paper. The edition of 30 is hand bound in Japanese paper covers. Manos Sucias/Dirty Hands is the sixth title in the Traffic Street Press Trafficking in Poetry series. The book includes reproductions of five mixed media works on paper from Slick's Diestro Siniestro series (2018), along with five recent poems by Monagle.
Manos Sucias/Dirty Hands can be regarded as both art object and as activism. This project, through its carefully chosen content, composition, papers, and type is an aesthetic encounter. It beckons to be experienced in a time signature suggested by the hand of the paper, the poems’ meters and music, the images’ lines and colors. The form of the book-object itself holds meaning, and in doing so reveals the specifics of that meaning. As activism, Manos Sucias/Dirty Hands raises uncomfortable questions about workers’ rights and employer abuse. In the stanzas and images the nature of labor itself comes under scrutiny as the authors remind themselves and the readers that human life and dignity are at stake in these troubled times.
Photos: Paulette Myers-Rich