Double Indemnity - Limited Edition 2 of 2 Art Print by Warren Criswell

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"Double Indemnity," 1999, linocut, image 7 x 5 inches
"Double Indemnity," 1999, oil on panel, 48 x 36 inches (private collection)

Art Description

Printmaking: Monotype, Pastel on Paper.

Image 10.5 x 8 inches, mounted in 2" off-white mat

The 1944 novel by James M. Cain and the movie adapted from it by Billy Wilder have very different endings. In the book Walter and Phyllis manage to get away from the cops, hopping a freighter to Mexico, but they realize they're going to be arrested eventually. And then a strange thing happens. Phyllis becomes what we now realize she had always been, a goddess of death, and Walter sees where she has been leading him.

This was an example of how an image can ambush me from a page of text. It inspired several drawings, paintings, a linocut (see additional images) and two monotypes

My inspiration for this medium comes from the great monotypes of Giovanni Benedetto Castiglioni (the inventor of the technique), Degas and William Merrit Chase. Like them, I use a basically subtractive method, meaning that the plate is rolled up with printer's ink and the design wiped and scraped out with rags, sticks, fingers, whatever. I do mine on linoleum (instead of the usual copper or plexiglass) and print them on my etching press.



Double Indemnity - Limited Edition 2 of 2

Warren Criswell

United States


Size: 12 W x 15 H x 0.1 in

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