About the Artist  

Regarding the Artist
An essay

An artist by the name of Piero di Cosimo gazed at the wall for hours from his hospital bed. His concentration was unyielding as he stared at this wall covered with grotesque spew from others who were there before him. For Piero, this multi-colored wall was among the most beautiful of creations. In his mind, the blending of stains: yellows, browns, black and scarlet, resembled a canvas. His mind saw the shapes of fantastic cities, stupendous landscapes and ferocious battles. Piero di Cosimo was following the example of Leonardo da Vinci. Da Vinci described in his Trattato della Pittura (Treaty of Painting), how he would gaze at a damp wall and see, "...divine landscapes adorned with mountains, ruins, rocks, woods, great plains, hills, and valleys in great variety, and then again you will see battles and strange figures in violent action, expression of faces, and clothes and an infinity of things..."

While da Vinci was observing the various patterns on an old damp house wall, di Cosimo was more daring. His landscape was violently colored. Those strange stains had the power to release the imagination from its cage and send it to a whole other dimension.

The inexhaustible imagination is always inventing and devising by seeing what is not actually there. It is through training that we can all be released into this new world that lives within us. It is the artist that has devoted time and energy to this development. He has trained to allow these thoughts to arise and release, conceive and manifest. Through this well trained mind, the artist is able to see that what is invisible as visible, what is considered absent is actually present, what is far is near, and what is earthly is heavenly. This paradoxical mindset has subjected the artist to accusations crossing a spectrum of human conditions from insanity to divinity.

As far back as we can trace, we see the artist asserting individuality and independence. It was the right of the artist to see whatever he chose to see. To paint and sculpt whatever he pleased. He gave himself the right to see the gods in his own way. No one could take that right away from him. He was a seer. He was the vessel of divine information. He was considered to be one of those with the vision.

Artists have been marking time dating as far back as we can identify. Throughout history, artists have visually communicated and represented the pain, agony, joy and happiness. In our modern period, the artist continues to enhance the role as human human interpreter.

Throughout my career, I have worked closely with mathematicians, scientists, engineers, economists and medical doctors. I have also worked closely with religious leaders, teachers, healers, shamans and clairvoyants. Groups that can be divided into two parts: the mind and the heart. The former is 'the critical' based upon verifiable connections. The other is 'faith-based' or 'superstitious' and derived from unverifiable connections of perception. The former relies completely on the theory of time, space and motion as it relates to one's own self-conscious. The latter and as C.J. Jung referred, ‘the mystic is a symbol of the movement away from the conscious and into the unconscious.’ The photographer as artist is where the two meet.

Art is a mystery. We do not know why it affects us so deeply. We find ourselves strangely moved and disturbed by the power of the artist to convey the illusion of reality. It is suggested through a symbolic gesture that the depth of the sky is equal to the depths of the artist's soul...something very strange takes place when the artist goes to work. The arts arose as a method for approaching or celebrating the sacred. The pathways of the soul are all rooted in metaphor and symbol. It is these symbols that present the tangible assets of the imagination. It is through symbols that we are given access to our soul.

Photography moves at the speed of thought. The process of digital moves as fast as our eyes may capture and sometimes faster. The process of film, although dated, still holds a place in the art form. Both techniques bring forth the ability for the artist to create a reality in which they choose to convey the message.

Emerging Paradigms: Building 21st Century Pyramids