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Geoffrey Detrani
New York, NY



ARTIST STATEMENT: Throughout history landscape art has served as a means of both depiction and projection. It has functioned as a way to register and reflect the overlapping nets of fantasy and idealization that construe our sense of the natural world. One way we understand our context in the larger world is by inscribing a vision in pictorial form. That vision is coded with inferences and semblances of narrative writ large and small. I am interested in the depiction of landscape both for the aesthetic satisfaction that it offers and for the opportunity it presents to think aloud, in pictures, about the ways we cognize and represent the often dissonant elements of our world. My work involves the conflation of disparate elements. I use aspects of the natural world, typically botanical forms, joined with emblems of our built environment (buildings, flags, insignia, perspectival space) to suggest this contested intersection between the natural world (however circumscribed and tamed) and the built environments within which our daily lives are primarily lived. I am interested in the way our idea of the natural mediates our worldview. Similarly I am interested in how our material expressions, abetted by usurptatious technology, condition our interactions with the natural world and sculpt our very understanding of what the natural is. I am drawn to the motif of the line receding or proceeding in space, a line that is alert, graphically activated and suggestive of depth of field. Often this manifests in my work as marks that seemingly trace the trajectories of explosions, the vectors of conflict. I am interested in the dynamic visual and associative energy that arises from this motif and the concomitant suggestion that the harmony of the pastoral (as equated with the natural) is elusive and ephemeral. I am drawn to the depiction of nature via the foil of rootless botanical forms offered in the unalloyed, graphically insistent manner of the silhouette. I am interested in this because, in its refutation of optical fidelity it offers an intellectualized (idealized) form that carries an intimation of the natural as that which is abstract and remote. By so populating my imagery and structuring my pictures I hope to suggest landscapes captured in a state of flux; landscapes on the cusp, or in the throes, of explosive generation or devolution. Botany, architecture, ambiguous, vaguely habitable structures and spaces; in my work these elements surface and submerge, optically and metaphorically, within a layered pictorial space that is cartographic, calligraphic and firmly anchored in imagined landscape.
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