THE FIRST ATLAS OF THE UNITED STATES OF ACID
Atelier Didier Mutel: Orchamps, France, 2017
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THE FIRST ATLAS OF THE UNITED STATES OF ACID printed on Arches 250 gram paper (56 x 76 cm) is limited to 101 boxed copies, as follows:
- 50 regular copies: The Representatives copies numbered from 1 to 50 and carrying artists’ names with 55 original etchings by Didier Mutel, custom box by John Demerritt.
- 50 deluxe copies: The Senators copies numbered from I to L, carrying superheroes names, with 55 original etchings by Didier Mutel each US state printed twice, and presented with and without marginalia: a total of 165 plates. Deluxe copies are housed in three custom boxes by John Demerritt.
- 1 unique copy : The Presidential copy includes the 55 original etchings by Didier Mutel each US state printed twice, and presented with and without marginalia: a total of 165 plates. The copy contains all the original ink drawings by Didier Mutel used as models and the 5 sketchbooks linked to this work. The Presidential copy is housed in six custom boxes by John Demerritt.
The plates have been hand engraved then printed on Arches 250 gram paper in the Atelier Didier Mutel in Orchamps, Jura, France. The original concept for this work was conceived by Didier Mutel, and each copy is numbered and signed on the colophon by the author-printer.
Didier Mutel’s newest work was created in the tradition of large format atlases engraved on copper plates. For centuries etching and the aqua fortis technique have been used for the production of maps and atlases, rendering geographical features and state boundaries with elegantly drawn lines that form our understanding of the world. The First Atlas of the United States of Acid is part of this technical tradition, and each state is accurately represented in correct shape, size, and scale. But this is no mere map of the real world, but rather a utopian version of a country characterized by hopeful reality and humorous fiction. The Atlas represents the true geographical borders of each U.S. State, along with each state’s Congressional members; however, correct in their proportional distribution, the members of the legislature have been reassigned by the printer and creator of The Atlas. Artists, painters, and thinkers ranging from the renaissance to the contemporary world, such as Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Dürer, Goya, and James Turell, now run the House of Representatives. Meanwhile, Super Heroes run the Senate, with Batman, Superman, and the Hulk all present. The Atlas therefore presents a utopian country governed by artists and thinkers with the support of superheroes in its upper house. It took about three years to achieve the first copies of this ambitious work, which was printed on the historical presses of the studio.
Each state is printed to scale on a single sheet, except California (two plates), Texas (three), Montana (one larger plate), with Alaska printed at a smaller scale. A bonus set of 16 plates representing Alaska at the same scale as the other states is also available. Deluxe copies (Presidential and Senator’s copies) have two plates for each State, with and without marginalia, allowing an alternate aesthetic experience as well as the possibility to inter-connect each state to create a unified map of the United States, measuring 3 x 2 meters (10 x 7 feet), seen below.
Representatives’ copies (50 copies, numbered 1-50): $10,000
Senators’ copies (50 copies, numbered I–L): $18,750
Presidential copy (unique) Price on Demand
*All copies include the states of Alaska and Hawaii on a single plate, with Alaska represented at a smaller scale. A special series of 16 extra plates presenting Alaska at the same scale as the other states is also available.
Representatives’ Alaska, full scale (16 extra plates) $4,000
Senators’ Alaska, full scale (32 extra plates) $6,500