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Serigraphy, Celebrities, and Joe Petro III

(March 2004) posted on Thu Mar 11, 2004

We revisit Kentucky printmaker Joe Petro III, a talented artist whose screen-printing skills have attracted attention from a wide variety of personalities.

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By Ed Newman

With his sense of humor, it may have been inevitable that Winters ended up in the entertainment industry. However, during his private time, he continued to indulge in his passion for painting, reflecting his talent and singular style in a wide range of works.

Winters first crossed paths with Petro through his son, Jay, who met Petro while he was exhibiting his serigraphs on the West Coast. After getting to know one another, Petro and Winters decided to collaborate on several editions based on Winters' original paintings.

Although he finds serigraphy fascinating, Winters prefers to leave printmaking to Petro and concentrate on his skills as a painter. "I don't have to tell you, but for a guy who is working in acrylics on canvas, [screen printing] is an entirely different field," says Winters. "Lotta' work, long color laid on another, on another. So I kind of backed off from Joe, and said 'Let's go in a few different directions.' I'm certainly fascinated by the process and really enjoy what people have done with screen work, but in the long pull, it's not my cup of tea. I don't have the patience for that."

Since their first meeting, Petro has been to Winters' studio, where the two worked together to select which Winters paintings to turn into editions and determine the treatment each of them would get. Between other projects, Petro has managed to reproduce several of Winters' works as limited-edition prints, beginning with "Hung Up On Strange Fruit," which appears on the cover of Winters' book, Hangups (Figure 5).

Ralph Steadman Petro had corresponded with artist Ralph Steadman for years before they ever met. The two first came face to face in 1993, when Steadman and his wife, Anna, who live in Kent, England, were traveling in the US. Upon arriving at the airport in Cincinnati (about 80 miles from Lexington), Steadman decided to give Joe a call. Petro, who was minutes from departing for Nashville, immediately altered his plans and told Steadman, "I'll come and get you." Petro and Steadman have been good friends ever since.


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