This edition is based on the painting entitled, Helpp made by Julia Wachtel in 2018. By employing a variety of techniques, the print reproduces the painting by mirroring the multiple techniques used in the making of the original work. The left half was printed digitally and renders the image in a continuous tone echoing the oil painting, while the right half of the image is a four-color process screen print split into two discrete areas with different dot patterns and sizes, intentionally rendering the image out of focus as in the original painting. The image is printed in full bleed, giving it the presence of a discrete object.
Wachtel has dedicated her practice to the visual language of mass culture, often focused on the construction of emotion and identity. The imagery in the print depicts the recognizable Looney Tunes character, Wile E. Coyote, holding up a sign that says “HELP”, standing opposite a cartoonish face on a closely cropped torso of a woman wearing a tight tee shirt with two wide eyes and a gaping mouth. The call for help is abstracted from any causal context, destabilizing the possibility for one unique narrative. The artist titled the work Helpp with a second “P” to represent a feeling of helplessness she felt toward the burgeoning post truth landscape.