Tag Archives: B&W film

~ “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 And as opposed to being inspired by photographers, my historical reference has always been cinematographers.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