My life as a painter began in the late 1950s when abstraction was “The only game in town”. I followed and progressed through gesture, organic and finally, geometric non-objective painting.
The radical move for me was to discover that the real world of landscape lurked behind all that past work. My childhood in the mountains of Pennsylvania pervaded my “way of seeing” and I wanted to investigate and celebrate the infinite variety of tone, color and composition that I found around me.
Sky, the structure of trees, mist and water appeared to fill a hunger to look again and again. There was mystery and danger lurking behind the beauty, and my aim was to try to avoid the cliché and explore the infinite structure of the visual landscape.
Now I use my camera as a sketchbook and search for images that seem to offer odd structure and “mystery”. I shoot multiple points of view, cull, crop, and mostly discard. The surviving photographs become the catalyst for the paintings and the process is always a mediation between memory and the small image pinned to my easel.
Photos: John Maggiotto