Magazine Article


Combining Printmaking with Other Art Disciplines
How to Create Custom Installations

“Big Blue,” 33”x72,” takes on the look of the wet, undulating ocean waves it depicts.
Kevin Rouse

“Sunset,” a 42”x72” custom installation, depicts the setting sun at Stone Mountain in Atlanta.
Kevin Rouse

The work hangs by grommets, stainless hardware, and clear-coated cables to float in front of a large mirror.
Kevin Rouse

“Gulf Stream,” a fine art black & white photograph.
Kevin Rouse

The photograph is split and installed directly to exterior front doors, each piece 28”x70,” using InteliCoat’s Mural Pro wall covering material.
Kevin Rouse

“The Art of Music,”48"x80,” features a design background printed as a giclée and applied to a curved surface.
Kevin Rouse

James DeGeorgia, a leading gold expert and owner of 21st Century Investor, owns the 3D original.
Kevin Rouse

As an artist, I enjoy combining various art disciplines to create unusual visual effects. Lately, I’ve been blending photography, art, design, and sculptural elements with digital fine art printing, producing a whole new collection of custom art installations.

My new clear acetate collection grew out of many years of working in the offset press business creating films for large posters. At times, we imaged 14 different films to produce fine serigraphs. The film is similar to clear acetate.

Creating a Custom Installation

“Big Blue” (top right), my first clear-acetate piece, showcases several disciplines at once. It began as a photo of the ocean and ended up as a 33”x72” horizontal art installation. Hung as curves in motion, it actually looks like the wet, undulating waves it depicts. I chose clear acetate as my canvas because it adds the illusion of wetness, movement, and dimension to the image.

I captured “Big Blue” on a spring morning in Miami Beach with my Canon EOS D60. I printed the image on one of my Roland Hi-Fi JET Pro II wide-format printers on 3M clear acetate media. This gives the image a translucent effect that depicts the ocean waters moving under the sun's rays.

During installation, the image is grommeted and suspended from plastic-coated stainless cables. Then it is back-lit and weighted by design-forward magnets. The functional hardware lets you fine-tune the piece, either letting it hang taut or in motion as a wave. Either way, the piece floats visually and ripples in sound as people walk by.

I installed the first custom print of “Big Blue” at the private home of advertising executive Robert Gerbig, president of Gerbig, Snell/Weisheimer & Associates. Since that time, the work has become a best seller. It is currently installed in homes around the world, including my own home in Delray Beach, Florida. It’s my own personal ocean view.

On a trip to Atlanta, I captured a brilliant orange-and-red sunset from the top of Stone Mountain. I used this 4x5 chrome to create “Sunset” (below), a custom installation with the same energy as “Big Blue,” with an unexpected twist: the 42”x72” work hangs by grommets, stainless hardware, and clear-coated cables floating vertically in front of a large mirror. Passers-by have the unusual experience of seeing themselves in the art as they view it. This special effect completed my vision of creating an ever-changing original.

“Sunset” was produced on 3M clear acetate media using Roland Hi-Fi JET and pigment inks. The saturated colors convey the intensity of my mountain top experience. This piece literally soaks up the sunshine and comes to life in a new way everyday.

I also use my Rolands to produce cool art backgrounds for my 3D commissioned installations, such as “The Art of Music” (top right). The possibilities are limitless.

Printing Custom Black & White Works

Always evolving, I recently returned to my roots: large-format black & white photography, creating pieces as large as 52”x106.” I’ve experimented with many different black & white systems, including Cohen’s black & white ink set, and concluded that printing with Roland’s black ink only and using their error-diffusion RIP at 1440 dpi provides an image similar to a black & white silver halide print. (Note: I managed a high-end wet lab in Boca Raton, Florida, for 15 years.) The result is a continuous-tone black & white print with only neutral tones, in keeping with traditional fine art black & white photography.

Film makes the artist think more about what it is he or she is doing. As a gallery owner, I see photography as the art of the new millennium. “Gulf Stream” (below) is from my large-format black & white tree series, “Living Sculpture.” The response has been tremendous.

Execution Is Key

While the intuitive aspects of art are vital, execution is equally important. I print all my work on two Roland Hi-Fi JET Pro II inkjet printers. With variable droplet Piezo print heads and digital servo motor to control media, these wide-format printers offer true 1440x1440 dpi resolution. Micro-precise ink droplets of three different sizes create spectacular output with smooth, dot-free tones, even at high speeds.

Roland UV-stable pigment inks always produce color-soaked, eye-catching graphics. And I can match 97 percent of the Pantone colors, which is especially important for my corporate artwork.

Roland inks have the highest quality and consistency, and the finest contrast and color brilliance. The longevity assures me that my life’s work will be around for generations.

To learn more about Kevro and his custom art installations, visit