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Akron Art Library

Michelle Martin Crypsis

Michelle Martin, Crypsis, 2017 - Polymer plate photogravure

About the Artist

Michelle Martin
American, born 1971, Houston, Texas
Lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Is this print a historical artifact or contemporary fiction? Michelle Martin implores viewers to wonder not just how these layered prints are made, but when. Martin recreates modern experiences filtered through a historical lens by layering digital technologies with handmade processes of etching, sewing and chine-collé. Drawing on varied sources from the Old Masters to popular imagery— from Albrecht Dürer to Victorian clip art— Martin creates seamless prints that belie their diverse origins.

The title of this piece plays into these layered origins of Martin’s work. Crypsis is the ability of an organism to conceal itself especially from a predator by having a color, pattern, and shape that allows it to blend into the surrounding environment. Looking closely at the layered imagery of this print, who or what is camouflaged?

Michelle Martin is an Associate Professor of Printmaking at The University of Tulsa and Gallery Director of the Sherman Smith Family Gallery. Her work is in several private, public and university collections. Learn more about Michelle Martin at:

Crypsis was printed at The University of Akron Myers School of Art Printshop as part of a printmaking program subscription print club called thINKeditions. Each year thINKeditions sponsors a visiting printmaker residency and a visiting emerging printmaker residency. Interested in subscribing? Visit: