Katy Martin

Film and Video




1978-81, DVD (from super-8mm film), 33 minutes

Included in the exhibition,

Big as Life: A History of 8mm Film in America,

at The Museum of Modern Art, New York

and shown in museums around the world including Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge), The Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), The National Gallery (Washington DC), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), The Isetan Museum (Tokyo) and The Kunstmuseum Basel (Switzerland).

The soundtrack interview has been published by The Walker Art

Center, MOMA and others.  It has also been translated into French and Dutch.

HANAFUDA observes the artist, Jasper Johns, and the master Japanese silkscreen printers at Simca Print Artists, as they created three different images from Johns USUYUKI and CICADA series.

For me, the camera was a pretext for structuring an in-depth apprenticeship with a major artist.  The finished film recapitulates my process of learning, gleaned over time, as I observed Johns and the printers at work.

What I wanted to know was how one generates a work of art and, for that matter, what is art, what work is involved, and how do ideas as opposed to physical labor drive the decision making process.  The films became a meditation on art and craft, as well as on the dialectic of mind and body, concept and actual work.


on vimeo

Link to Katy's photos

of Johns making prints


Martin's interview with Johns