Architecture as Art

March 11, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

This is my first post here on my website.  As I was musing about what to talk about, I looked over my galleries and the one in particular that I chose for the first slideshow on my homepage.  I chose 'Architecture.'  It seems that when I'm out and about with a camera, I tend to gravitate towards buildings, old, new, and inbetween.  There is something about the lines and curves in architecture that become more like abstract geometric design when isolated by the focal length of a camera lens.  Shooting in black & white mode or with black & white film seem to enhance this effect.

This might have something to do with my art education.  I studied painting and drawing in college, and when freed from the first two years of required fundamental courses, I found myself in a very open and experimental environment at U.C. Irvine.  It was the mid 1970s and the fine arts college at U.C.I. was host to some of the most well known artists involved in the west coast contemporary art scene.

Craig Kauffman, Tony Delap, John Paul Jones taught there.  Ed Bereal was another instructor at U.C.I. who had a major impact on me.  Although his work was couched in assemblage and steeped in politics and social commentary, he instilled in me a very good lesson.  He would keep asking away at us students one question over and over again during the critiquing of our work.  He would ask, "What is it?"  Again and again, "But, what is it?"  This caused some students to really stumble about for an explanation of what they were trying to convey.  It took awhile but I eventually figured out what he was doing.

At the time I had begun a series of paintings on raw Belgian linen using 'trunk' paints from spray cans.  I was going around the campus and creating highly stylized drawings of the buildings on campus, very linear, very modern, employing exaggerated perspective.  They were very simple in design and execution, and my motivation was rather simple.  They made interesting, eye-catching designs.  Bam!  Plain and simple.  The essence.  That's what Ed was trying to draw out of us.

That's what they were, nothing more.  Now I use a camera to do basically the same thing.  I hope you enjoy them.

David


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