Tag Archives: artist

~ “Lahary Pittman Artist Statement” ~

 My visual art appetite is a melange of celluloid photographs, pastels and film/video. As a result of the manifold mediums I work in, my artistic persona is stylistically non-conformist. 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 would appear as an academically derived sophistication in photographic production vs. the innocence & naïveté of my pastel paintings and drawings. The film & video sensibilities I employ simultaneously embody American story structure while deconstructed in the classically abstract manner of European cinema.

This artist statement is a comprehensive text-however I distinguish each specific body of work with a succinctly different artist statement. Engrossed with a pre-occupation for thematic drive, my aesthetic priorities have led to five bodies of work, all of which share the common traits of being primarily depopulated & faithful to the natural world..culminating in series from the South of France, Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Flanders/London and two separate series on the Western Catskills. My current focus is the figure along with flora and marine subjects of the Gulf coast of Florida.

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 each of my mediums, I was thoroughly without introduction or consciousness concerning such entities until after establishing my own output. As a draftsman and pastelist I haven’t been shaped by a cognitive cause & effect awakening relative to peers or predecessors.

Although fine art photography and documentary photography are my dominant medium, my historical reference and inspiration has always been cinematographers as opposed to photographers or painters. “Cinematic Veracity” is what moves me to paint with light and/or color. While craftsman from neither idiom are responsible for influencing my work, I did encounter that ‘after the fact affinity’ with cinematographers James Wong Howe, Massimo Vitali and Christopher Doyle.

In the same manner – I only retroactively became aware of the two American art movements that unexpectedly resonate & reflect much of 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.

After completing both a Western Catskills series, along with a smaller London essay  in photographs..I subsequently discovered that Hudson River School artists John Kensett and Thomas Cole also paired local/international subjects in ventures to paint both the Hudson River and the Thames. While many understand the close association of the Hudson River School to the Catskill mountains of upstate New York, authors and art historians do not correlate the difference in traits of Americana reflected in the Eastern Catskills (famously contiguous to the Hudson River) and that of the Western Catskills, arguably the more austere and primordial..which borders the Upper Delaware River.

The moody romanticism, historical significance and vernacular attributes of my inspiration have served as the real inertia for my attempts to liberate my works to artistically carbon-date the emblems of both nature & global society.


“Water Lily Lagoon” (c) Lahary, (Artists Rights Society, New York) , Warmtone Silver Gelatin Print