Many works of amazing literary art have been printed on typewriters in times past, but this re-purposing concept takes an old machine beyond words and into the realm of colorful painting.
Tyree Callahan has recycled* (or upcycled, perhaps) a classic 1937 Underwood typewriter by replacing letters with sponges soaked across the spectrum with bright yellows, reds, blues and combinations thereof.
Based in the Seattle area of Washington, the artist writes of his environs: “I’m constantly amazed at the play of light through our moist air and over the varied landscape of the Pacific Northwest. I especially enjoy early morning light–that short interval of time just before the last of the fog burns off–and evening light, especially on humid evenings, when the atmosphere itself is aglow with evening’s hues. We live in an environment that can produce both vivid and somber landscapes, often both within an hour’s time.”
There is something so satisfying about the click-clack sounds of a traditional typewriter, translating the mechanical motions of your fingers into physical results on the page in front of you – but imagine making those impressions in vivid colors instead of black on white. Sounds relaxing, hopefully literally. (Editor’s Note: after a resurgence of traffic to this piece, a reader has just written in to inform us that this is a conceptual prototype and not a working model; the artist initially left this fact ambiguous as part of the project. We have chosen to leave the surprise until the end in the interest of preserving the artistic intent. Also: his chromatic works are nonetheless impressive, though, and a functional version is feasible, regardless, so we hope you have enjoyed this as a pre-proof of concept and multi-layered project!).