Category Archives: Manhattan

~ “Lahary Pittman Artist Statement” ~

As a result of the manifold mediums I work in, my artistic persona is stylistically nonconformist. My visual art appetite is a melange of celluloid photographs, pastels and film/video. My contemporary photography will psychologically register with the viewer according to whether B&W or color film is my source, as well as their unconscious optical interaction with my emotional intent. Likewise a counterpoint exists in what appears as an academically derived sophistication of fine photographs vs. the innocence & naïveté of my folk art pastels and drawings.

The film & video sensibilities I employ simultaneously embody American story structure while deconstructed in the classically abstract manner of European cinema. Coupled with a pre-occupation for thematic drive, my aesthetic priorities have led to four completed bodies of work, all of which share the common traits of being depopulated & faithful to the natural world, culminating in series’ from the South of France, Manhattan’s Lower East Side, the Western Catskill mountains, Flanders & London.

A recurring phenomena found in my work, as an essentially self-taught artist, is that despite the absence of any formal influence by artists of previous era’s, I have nonetheless discovered limited after-the-fact-affinities with specific movements and artists. In both realms I was thoroughly without introduction or consciousness concerning such entities until after establishing my own output. As a draughtsman and pastelist I have no discernible identification with peers or predecessors. And as opposed to being inspired by photographers, my historical reference has always been cinematographers. While craftsman from neither idiom are responsible for influencing my work, I did encounter ‘after the fact affinities’ with cinematographers James Wong Howe, Massimo Vitali and Christopher Doyle.

In precisely the same manner – I only retroactively became aware of the two American art movements that unexpectedly resonate with my work to date; the Regionalists & the Hudson River School. Although I was born & raised in Kansas City, John Steuart Curry of Kansas, Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri & Grant Wood of Iowa had never been on my radar. Thus it was in hind-sight that I realized I was inadvertently practicing an international variant of Regionalism. A tradition I later found was shared by Hudson River School artists John Kensett and Thomas Cole in their decisions to paint both the Hudson and the Thames.

While many understand the close association of the Hudson River School to the Catskill mountains of upstate New York, authors and historians do not appear to distinguish the traits of Americana reflected in the portion of the Catskills contiguous to the Hudson River compared to that of the Western Catskills, arguably the more austere or primordial. The moody
romanticism, historical significance and vernacular attributes of all my locales have served as the real inertia for my attempts to liberate their elements and artistically carbon-date the 
emblems of both nature & global society.

“The Late Show” (c) Lahary; Exhibiting in “Kinetic” 3/23 to 5/4 via Dutchess Cty Arts Association, Poughkeepsie, NY

THE LATE SHOW (c) LAHARY

THE LATE SHOW (c) LAHARY

“Open All Nite” 2006 (c) Lahary; Silver Gelatin Print; The Village, NYC

"Open All Night" 2006 (c) Lahary

“Open All Night” 2006 (c) Lahary.

$old to a collector in Paris..Shot in the East Village of downtown New York City near where I lived. Part of my ‘Shifting Boundaries of Manhattan’s Lower East Side’ Series.

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“Old Chelsea” (c) Lahary; ‘Before Chelsea Became the Art Capital of The World’

"OLD CHELSEA" (c) Lahary

“OLD CHELSEA” (c) Lahary

“TRAPEZE ARTIST” ~ HANDMADE SILVER GELATIN PRINT ~ NEW YORK CITY

Part of an essay I shot of the New York Trapeze School across the street from where I lived in Tribeca near Ground Zero on the Hudson River.

New York City Trapeze Artists

“South Street & Rutger’s Slip”

SOUTH STREET AND RUTGERS SLIP

A UK collector acquired this downtown New York City image in 2010 and I donated a portion of the proceeds to the ‘UNICEF Tap Project’ which provides clean drinking water to children worldwide. The % from this particular sale allowed for 140 days of clean drinking water to be given to children.

In a city that has been the subject of innumerable cinematic and photographic efforts..this originally conceived in-camera vignette effect was derived from a aspherical wide-angle lens I used on top of another lens (thus shooting through 2 len’s simultaneously) that provides a one-of-a-kind composition that simultaneously depicts ‘both the Manhattan-and-Brooklyn bridge’s; the South Street Seaport; Wall street; the East River; and downtown Brooklyn’. As such, “South Street & Rutger’s Slip” was also purchased & published by the New York Press Newspaper as part of their call for ‘unusal photographs of Manhattan’.

Intersecting the natural sphere of the lens at the right is an exit ramp from the FDR Drive descending from above my photographic perspective. “Taken while standing in the rain, the image is infused with a misty veneer of gray-scales rounded off by a perfectly circular raindrop on the lens”. All combining to make this 35mm b&w silver gelatin print an innovative-yet-classic contemporary view of lower Manhattan desirable to collectors of cityscapes, landscapes and architectural skylines”. (*This photograph is from my series “The Shifting Boundaries & Culture of Manhattan’s Lower East Side”).