My working process is one of 'theme and variation,’ seeking new and interesting variations on a theme. In keeping with the musical analogy, my titles often pay homage, in spirit, and sometimes in form, to the tone and etherial nature of music. Theme and variation is the thread that links change with continuity.
In terms of images, my goal has been to find a creative direction deep enough to sustain continuing exploration. I try to make work that is accessible on at least two levels; one, the sensual visual pleasure of form, such as color, line, shape, texture, etc., and, two, a deeper, more subjective experience of fluid forms existing in infinite space. I try to make visable the universal forces that energize and create our physical realm; abstractions with aspirations toward the metaphysical.
I draw and paint forms from nature, man-made objects, archaeological relics, found objects, musical notations, signs and symbols, etc., in the process creating a personal vocabulary of form and color.
In addition to drawings and paintings, I work in a variety of print media; screenprints created by the successive overprinting of multiple stencils; relief prints using photopolymer plates; and photogravures, intaglio-printed in the traditional manner on an etching press.
I also make low-relief constructions, hybrid structures incorporating printmaking, painting, found objects and digital images. I often include words to create a narrative content, words juxtaposed against pictorial images, each influencing the other.
I’m a printmaker, painter, designer, and former professor of art at New Mexico State University, Portland State University and Montana State University. I studied design and fine arts at the University of Iowa and Wayne State University in Detroit. My work has been shown in group and solo exhibitions, including one-person shows at the Portland Museum of Art and the El Paso Museum of Art, and in group exhibitions such as the International Mini Print Exhibition at Maribar Gallery in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and Imprinted: Contemporary Printmaking, an international exhibition at El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe. In 2010 I exhibited prints, paintings and constructions at Preston Contemporary Art in Mesilla, New Mexico, and in 2008 I showed my constructions and prints at Zane Bennett Contemporary Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 2013 I had a solo exhibition, Continuum, at the Adobe Patio Gallery in Mesilla, New Mexico, and participated in Crossroads: Book Arts on the Border and Abstraction, at the Unsettled Gallery in Las Cruces, New Mexico. In 2014 Mary Wolf and I participated in Las Cruces Creates at the University Art Gallery at New Mexico State University. I showed work with the Las Cruces Border Artists; Botanica; Tejido Fronterizo/Border Tapestry, at the Chamizal National Monument in El Paso, Texas; and Small is Beautiful. In 2016 Mary Wolf and I collaborated on Tableaux Parisiens, photographic intaglio images from Paris, exhibited at the Unsettled Gallery. In 2017, Joe Barela and I showed new prints in The Chamber of Curiosities, at Unsettled Gallery. Also in 2017, my work was included in the exhibition, 3rd Annual Hand Pulled Prints, the Current Practice in Printmaking, at Site: Brooklyn.
Louis Ocepek, Ink on Paper, 50 Years of Printmaking is self published at Blurb.com.
My design work has been included in many publications and exhibitions, including Graphis International and Graphis International Posters, Zurich, Switzerland, the New York Society of Illustrators, and the International Exhibition of Poster Art in Brno, Czechoslovakia. My work is included in the permanent collection of the Musee de la Publicité, Union Central des Arts Décoratifs, the Louvre, Paris, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon, and the public art collections of the states of Oregon, Washington, and New Mexico. In 2002, my book, Graphic Design: Vision, Process, Product was published by Prentice Hall Incorporated.
Around the Block, a detailed survey of my design career is also self-published at Blurb.com.