Milltown Memories Series: 1997-1999
“In 1997, while spraying stencils on a crate, I noticed some spray paint over-spray effects on a scrap-paper mask I was using. It was very appealing to me as a graphic element, and I began manipulating the effect and collaging elements together, and assembling the elements on what appear to be slabs of steel with rough torch-cut edges. In short order, I acquired a “palette” of spray can colors that would be the envy of any graffiti artist. I am particularly intrigued by the delicate “atmospherics” I can get straight out of a spray can — as well as a very convincing “rust”.
Milltown is an imaginary small factory town, not unlike Lake Wobegon. It is created from collective memories of every industrial city and town I have passed through since my earliest childhood experience of riding past the steel mills and refineries of Gary, IN, in a very gray autumn dusk. Those images pleasantly haunt and inspire me to this day.
In the Memories of Milltown series there are a few experiments in style — most notably Smoke and Study for Storm Cloud. Like many artists, I greatly enjoy visiting my “ancestors” by experimenting with their techniques and styles. It helps in understanding what they saw. The Cubist aspects of these works came about through pure serendipity. Scrap elements from a previous piece were randomly scattered on my worktable, and they had a decidedly cubist feel to them. I simply did what the shapes told me to do.
In fact, serendipity and happy accidents have created many of the images in the Memories of Milltown series. I discovered that many of my best images started as scrap backing boards that I used when spray painting elements of other pieces. Early on, I started using good board to spray against, in the hope that a new and better work would emerge. The single biggest task is to stay alert to the potential, and especially to know when to stop.”
Janos Enyedi, 2001
excerpted from Memories of Milltontown, catalog